MAKATI CITY – De Ocampo Memorial College moved closer to history by winning Game One of the best-of-three championship series of the National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) Seniors Basketball tournament over Colegio de San Lorenzo, 92-87, at the Makati Coliseum Monday morning (March 27). The Cobras also dealt the Griffins their first loss of the season after going undefeated through 10 games.
A backbreaking 10-0 run in the fourth period saved the day for the Cobras of Coach Ronnie Dojillo, as they sprung away from the once-tight contest to coast to the victory. Harold Lescano hit a triple to give the lead back to DOMC for good with 4:30 to play, 81-80, and this was followed by another triple by Dahrrel Caranguian and back-to-back baskets from Jhonard Clarito giving the Cobras sufficient cushion entering the final two minutes, 88-80.
However, the Griffins proved to be a tough customer as Jan Dominic Formento countered with a triple of his own and Rick Argie Baldevia added two free throws to threaten with 1:01 on the clock, 85-88. Lescano then delivered the dagger as he drained a jumper that just beat the shot clock buzzer at the 36-second mark, 90-85.
The Cobras survived the incredible third period performance of CDSL main man Jun Gabriel who went berserk with 13 markers as he pushed his Griffins on top entering the fourth period, 69-65. Caranguian likewise had a sizzling shooting clip in the third with 10 points but the San Lorenzo juggernaut lost steam come the fourth period thus allowing DOMC to snatch the crucial win much to the delight of the pro-DOMC gallery led by school president Dr. Vicente Antonio de Ocampo.
Caranguian powered the Cobras with a game-high 30 points off the bench followed by Clarito with 21. Also hitting twin digits were Redel Fabro with 13 and Igi Boy Sabasaje with 10 as the two forwards also excelled on defense.
Gabriel’s 23-point effort went to naught as he lacked support from teammates. Charles Callano was the only other Griffin in double figures with 14.
Game Two of the series will be on Wednesday (March 29), still at the Makati Coliseum with a 10:00 AM start. If needed, Game Three is scheduled for Friday (March 31) at the same venue and time.
Immediately after the championship game, PATTS College of Aeronautics routed Rizal Technological University, 96-74, to take home Third Place. Neilmore Cayson led the winners with 30 points.
How They Scored:
DE OCAMPO (92) – Caranguian 30, Clarito 21, Fabro 13, Sabasaje 10, Gallardo 6, Lescano 6, Manalang 2, Ramos 2, Montojo 2, Pascual 0, Canelas 0, de la Cruz 0.
SAN LORENZO (87) – Gabriel 23, Callano 14, Laman 9, Baldevia 9, Alvarado 9, Formento 8, Vargas 7, Astrero 6, Marticio 2, Calizo 0, Gojar 0.
Period Scores: 22-17, 46-43, 65-69, 92-87.
For Third Place
P A T T S (96) – Cayson 30, Manansala 21, Orada 15, Pimentel 10, Loyola 6, Bautista 6, Calubag 5, Diaz 3, Beltran 0, Gula 0, Velasco 0.
RIZAL TECH(74) – Tabi 21, Bangeles 12, Liquinan 11, Asuncion 10, Estoce 6, Riva 5, Reyes 5, Monghit 4, Tilos 0.
Period Scores: 19-14, 44-37, 67-55, 96-74.