By Jerome Lagunzad
Games Today (Olivarez College gym)
12 noon. – CDSL vs Olivarez
2 p.m. – UB vs Diliman College
Diliman College and Colegio de San Lorenzo try to sustain their strong start as they take on separate rivals today for a chance to take the early lead in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 2 action at the Olivarez College gym in Sucat, Parañaque City.
The Blue Dragons, coming off a close 67-65 victory over Technological Institute of the Philippines over the weekend, are favored to make it two in a row in their 2 p.m. showdown with University of Batangas which is smarting from an 89-86 loss to Bulacan State University in the season opener last Thursday.
All eyes will be on prized import Adama Diakhite anew after the 6-foot-9 Senagalese big man made a highly impressive debut with 33 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks – all game-highs – while scoring the game-winning turnaround hook shot against the Engineers to the delight of the Blue Dragons faithful.
“I’m very honest about that (relying on Diakhite so much). But at the same time, we still have plenty of room for improvement especially our locals since most of them are rookies,” said Diliman College coach Rensy Bajar who is hoping Rickson Gerero, Joseph Brutas and Rey Bauzon to provide Diakhite the needed support.
Also determined to pick up from where they left off are the Griffins, who will take on the Sea Lions at 12 noon.
Colegio de San Lorenzo made quick work of newcomer Lyceum-Batangas 112-77 last Saturday, but Griffins coach Boni Garcia admitted he is not expecting things to get any easier against their rivals who will enjoy a familiar homecourt advantage.
Big man Jon Gabriel is tipped to make his presence felt anew down low while Raymart Sablan, Rustom Borja, Louie Vargas and African import Soulemane Chabi Yo are capable of delivering ample goods for the Griffins.
The Olivarez Sea Lions lost to the Centro Escolar University Scorpions, 60-43, also in the opener.