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Basketball

CEU Scorpions complete sweep of PMMS, NCRAA season


Centro Escolar University made sure their first season would be one for the books, as they completed an 11-game sweep via a 62-61 squeaker over Philippine Merchant Marine School. The Scorpions took the 26th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Basketball title in front of a capacity crowd at the Paco Arena, Wednesday.

Mythical Five members Tyron Chan and Rich Guinitaran combined well with veteran Christian Uri to add another piece to their vast trophy collection.

In a fitting ending to the well-played series, CEU’s defense held PMMS scoreless for almost the whole opening six minutes of the fourth period. They were then able to go for the early knockout blow on back-to-back hits by Chan and Uri, 57-48.

However, the Mariners hung tough and crept back into contention after consecutive triples from Kurt Sunga and Ralph Briones with 1:29 remaining, 62-61.

For the second game in a row, the Scorpions flirted with disaster. But their defense saved them again, as Guinitaran grabbed the crucial defensive rebound off a Briones miss. Still, the CEU crowd held their breath as their team committed a 24-second shot clock violation. Possession then returned to the Mariners, but they blew their last chance. Newly-minted NCRAA Most Valuable Player Bryan Hilario missed his desperation heave at the buzzer.

“I’m very happy for the boys, even if we did not play well in the end,” expressed CEU head coach Derrick Pumaren. “I told them that PMMS will fight and we have no time to get tired because of our daily games since Sunday.”

Chan topped the Scorpions with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Uri had 14 points and four assists. Guinitaran chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

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Briones played his best game of the season with 22 points and seven rebounds, as he tried to make up for the lukewarm plays of Hilario and Wendel Attas.

Sunga ended the season with a triple-double of 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. Unfortunately, it was not enough to deliver the crown to the Mariners.

CEU’s sweep matches the achievement of Saint Clare College of Caloocan, who also carted away the 21st NCRAA crown in 2014 via a clean sweep in their first season of participation. However, the Saints went 14-0 back then, capped by a sweep of PMMS in the finals.

Earlier in the day, Hilario was named as the MVP of the tournament, as he posted norms of 21.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. He, Chan, Guinitaran, Norman Torreno of PATTS College of Aeronautics and Ryan Chu of Saint Francis of Assisi College composed the All-NCRAA team.


The Scores:

CEU (62) – Chan 16, Uri 14, Guinitaran 12, Fuentes 5, Ke Caballero 4, Intic 4, Abastillas 4, David 3, Diaz 0.

PMMS (61) – Briones 22, Sunga 14, Hilario 8, Attas 6, Palomares 4, Carvajal 2, Bautista 2, Templo 2, Cabauatan 1, Sosing 0, Gabat 0.

Quarterscores: 20-10, 41-30, 53-48, 62-61.

Photo and story from Servsports

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