PARANAQUE CITY – Centro Escolar University overcame its toughest challenge to date as the Scorpions eliminated De Ocampo Memorial College, 76-72, in quarterfinal action from the 26th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Monday at Olivarez College thanks to the hot shooting of Judel Ric Fuentes. CEU thus joined early quarterfinalist Philippine Merchant Marine School as the only two remaining undefeated teams in the tournament with eight out of eight thus far.
Struggling to get his shooting going all game, NCRAA scoring leader Rich Guinitaran hit his only triple of the game but it was a big one as it shattered the game’s last deadlock, 72-69, and 1:15 to play. Christian Uri then added another basket and Keanu Caballero a free throw to pad their lead, 75-69, but the Cobras refused to fold.
Jhonard Clarito missed two free throws but JR Pascual came from nowhere to grab the offensive rebound, score, draw a foul and complete the three-point play to threaten at the 28-second mark, 72-75. Another CEU misplay allowed Clarito to attempt a triple but it missed, forcing them to foul Caballero who settled the final tally with another free throw.
Fuentes began his shooting spree once he came off the bench for a total of 27 points on seven triples in only 28 minutes of action. Uri supported him with 16 points and seven rebounds while Tyron Chan added 15 points and nine rebounds.
Pascual paced the Cobras with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Clarito also had a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds as they saw their streak of back to back NCRAA Finals appearances come to an end.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (76) – Fuentes 27, Uri 16, Chan 15, Guinitaran 7, Ke Caballero 4, Abastillas 4, Diaz 2, David 1, Ko Caballero 0.
DE OCAMPO (72) – Pascual 19, Clarito 16, Atabay 12, Licardo 8, Lescano 5, Canelas 3, Manalang 2, Artesano 2, Schwartz 2, de la Cruz 2, Gallardo 1, Montojo 0, Ramos 0.
Period Scores: 18-17, 43-32, 54-54, 76-72.