(Olivarez College gym)
12 noon – TIP v CEU
2 p.m. – Awarding ceremony
2:30 p.m. – Diliman vs Olivarez
Diliman College went berserk in the payoff period and subdued Olivarez College, 80-71, in Game 1 of their title series in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 3 yesterday at the Olivarez campus in Parañaque City.
With John Mahari and Steve Gandjeto at the helm, the Diliman Blue Dragons outplayed and outscored the Olivarez Sea Lions, 39-23, in the fourth quarter to draw first blood in their best-of-three title series.
The Blue Dragons of former Sen. Nikki Coseteng and coach Rensy Bajar can clinch their first major title with another win on Thursday.
“We hope we can sustain our winning drive and clinch the championship,” said Bajar, a former member of the Philippine team. “As I expected, Olivarez is a tough team, not easy to beat.”
“Breaks of the game lang. Sinuwerte nung huli. Pero alam na namin gagawin namin sa next games,” added Bajar.
Good thing for Bajar, Mahari and Gandjeto delivered when they needed a spurt starting in the third quarter that saw them score the first seven points to tie the count at 48-all.
The Blue Dragons then took control of the game as they made their outside shots while Gandjeto wrecking havoc down low.
The 6-foot-7 Gandjeto, a native of Benin, completed another double-double with 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 14 boards, eight of them offensively.
Mahari also had his share of golden moments with 20 points, including three crucial free throws that helped the Blue Dragons quash Olivarez’s last-ditch comeback.
Diliman’s win was its third over Olivarez and 10th straight since the elims.
Again, it was another disappointing finish for the Sea Lions who took control of the game in the first half only to crumble in the face of Diliman’s furious comeback.
Meantime, former champion Centro Escolar University tries to comfort itself by shooting for 3rd place against Technological Institute of the Philippines on Thursday.
This season’s MVP will also be known prior to Game 2 of the Finals.
DILIMAN 80 – Gandjeto 21, Mahari 20, Coquia 10, Enriquez 9, Darang 6, J. Salazar 5, Lisika 4, Bauzon 0, Sombero 0, E. Salazar 0.
OLIVAREZ 71 – Saguiguit 22, Castro 13, Almajeda 13, Lalata 9, Uduba 6, Elie 6, Geronimo 2, Complete 0, Begaso 0, Siegue 0, Santos 0, Sala 0.
Quarters: 12-15, 23-33; 41-48; 80-71.