PASIG CITY – A nine-man Our Lady of Fatima University squad shocked De Ocampo Memorial College, 84-81, in continuing action from the Rain Or Shine Sumilang Invitational Tournament Monday (April 24) at the Sumilang Covered Court. The Phoenix thus finalized the playoff matchups as they now will face Saint Clare College of Caloocan in a rematch of last season’s NAASCU Finals won by the latter.
Rommel Diosa converted a side jumper with 47 seconds to go that shattered the game’s final deadlock, 81-79. A crucial defensive stop followed by an equally crucial offensive rebound resulted in an easy stab for Renz Canoy to give Fatima more breathing space by the 10-second mark, 84-79.
Fatima’s remarkable end game poise came after they lost key players Jess Pedrosa and Christophe Essomba one after the other due to five personal fouls entering the final 60 seconds. The Phoenix were handled by Coach Edwin Firmanes after the regular coaching staff joined the rest of the team in the ongoing National PRISAA Games in Zambales.
Despite fouling out, Pedrosa did enough damage with 22 points, 10 coming in the pivotal third period wherein the Phoenix surged ahead, 59-57. Diosa was next with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Jhonard Clarito and Japhet Montojo were the scoring leaders for the Cobras with 13 markers each as they evened their record at 2-2, good for the third seed in Group B. They will next face Group A second seed Philippine Merchant Marine School (3-1) in the quarterfinals.
How They Scored:
OUR LADY OF FATIMA (84) – Pedrosa 22, Diosa 16, Essomba 13, Alarcon 11, Canoy 6, Dalupang 6, Santiago 5, Gomez 5, Abila 0.
DE OCAMPO (81) – Montojo 13, Clarito 13, Gallardo 12, Wenceslao 11, Canelas 9, de la Cruz 6, Sabasaje 5, Atabay 4, Schwartz 4, Ramos 2, Manalang 2, Miasco 0, Simon 0.
Period Scores: 17-9, 32-36, 59-57, 84-81.