MANILA – Centro Escolar University achieved its goal of a grand slam by sweeping Enderun Colleges, 67-49, and end early the best of three series for the 15th Men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (MNCAA) Basketball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum Saturday. It was not an easy feat for the Scorpions who had to go through the tournament with only nine available players for their third straight trophy.
CEU took the series opener last Sunday, 61-48. The Titans had hoped to extend the series into a decider as they raced to an 8-0 lead behind Francisco Tancioco and team captain Mark Joseph Nunez but that was the best to be heard from their side.
From there Malick Diouf and Keanu Caballero joined forces to seize control for CEU after one period, 15-11, and the assault continued until the 40 minutes were over. The Scorpions scored the first five points of the fourth to erect a 51-34 advantage and that proved to be the early knockout blow as Caballero and Franz Diaz did a good job of controlling the tempo with Diaz hitting nine of his 11 points to assure the championship.
Diouf ended up with 18 points and was promptly awarded as twin Most Valuable Player of the season and finals series plus a slot in the Mythical Five. Caballero chipped in 15 to join Diouf in the Mythical Five together with Michael de la Cruz of Enderun, Ivan Andaya of Philippine Women’s University and Aaron Yanday of University of Makati.
Colince Wabo Kaptue, who just recovered from a knee injury, paced Enderun with 15 points but lacked support from his misfiring teammates. Nunez and Klyve Dungan were next with only eight markers apiece.
CEU’s lone loss of the tournament came courtesy of Enderun, 58-65, on opening day last January and since then, the wards of Coach Michael Buendia went on a seven-game tear. Aside from Diouf, Caballero and Diaz, the six other members of the championship roster are Christian Uri, CJ Pamaran, Joshua Abastillas, Rhayniel David, Sonny Boy Saber and Yves Dizon.
Meanwhile, the Enderun Lady Titans gave their school something to cheer about as they successfully defended their crown in the simultaneous 17th Women’s College Sports Association (WCSA) by blasting San Beda College-Alabang, 71-33. Most Valuable Player Joylyn Pangilinan led the way with 24 points and she was joined the Mythical Five by teammates Mary Grace Calang and Princess Abigail Manzanares, Katrina Paula Galong of SBCA and Dominique Oflear of Assumption College.
How They Scored:
CENTRO ESCOLAR (67) – Diouf 18, Caballero 15, Diaz 11, David 10, Abastillas 6, Pamaran 5, Uri 2, Dizon 0, Saber 0.
ENDERUN (49) – Wabo 15, Dungan 8, Nunez 8, Maagdenberg 7, Tancioco 5, Chauca 3, Gaitan 1, Goethals 1, de la Cruz 1, Grape 0, Gatdula 0, Sacundo 0.
Period Scores: 15-11, 31-21, 46-34, 67-49.