PASIG CITY – Centro Escolar University used a strong start to subdue Philippine Christian University, 87-65, and take home the championship of the Rain Or Shine Sumilang Invitational Tournament in front of a packed Sumilang Covered Court Thursday (April 27). For the nth time, three-point shooting proved to be the weapon of choice for CEU as they rained triples from all angles on the slow-starting Dolphins.
Aside from torrid shooting, defense also worked well for the wards of Coach Yong Garcia as they limited the high-scoring Dolphins to only nine points each in both the first and second periods to take a 44-18 edge at halftime. “We went for a good start and we aimed to build a big enough lead because PCU should not be taken lightly,” said Coach Garcia who was eventually named Best Coach.
The Scorpions dropped a total of 14 triples against only two for the Dolphins. Throughout the tournament, three-point shooting gave PCU a lot of victories but this time they got a dose of their own medicine.
Veteran guard JK Casino stepped up when it mattered the most by connecting on six out of his 10 triple attempts for a team high 25 points, including 13 in the final period to put on exclamation point on their performance. Christian Uri knocked in four triples to back up Casino with 20 points and six rebounds.
PCU was led by Michael Ayonayon with only 11 points but his consistent performance throughout the tournament earned him the Most Valuable Player award. Joining him in the Mythical Five were teammate Yves Sazon, Uri, Reynaldo de Mesa of Saint Clare College of Caloocan and Rocky Antonares of Philippine Merchant Marine School.
Awards were also given to the best players according to position – Casino as point guard, Rojay Santos of Saint Clare as shooting guard, Rich Guinitaran of CEU as small forward, de Mesa as power forward and Antonares as center. Tournament organizer Buddy Encarnado, NAASCU Secretary-General Harlem Ruiz of PMMS and basketball legend Ronnie Magsanoc awarded the winners.
With the success of the tournament, Mr. Encarnado is laying out plans for an expanded field next year. “We are looking at inviting more schools especially those from the provinces and maybe a team from one of our Southeast Asian neighbors,” said the former PBA chairman.
This year’s tournament was held to commemorate the 400th death anniversary of parish patroness Saint Rose of Lima. Aside from the basketball games, a lot of religious, cultural and entertainment activities were also held all week.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (87) – Casino 25, Uri 20, Wamar 12, Manlangit 9, Umeanozie 7, Jeruta 6, Guinitaran 3, Intic 3, Saber 2, Arim 0, Aloume 0, Aquino 0.
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (65) – Ayonayon 11, Sazon 9, Castro 8, Mescallado 8, Galit 7, Vasquez 7, Pallatao 6, Tambeling 3, Ordonez 2, Abrigo 2, Sumalacay 2, Camaya 0, Malto 0, Bautista 0.
Period Scores: 18-9, 44-18, 63-38, 87-65.