Drawing from the inspired game of MVP Jayboy Solis, Olivarez College outlasted defending champion Diliman College, 64-62, in the opening of their best-of-three title series in the PG Flex Linoleum-UCBL, Thursday at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
The Sea Lions led the game most of the way, even taking a 12-point advantage in the third. Still, they needed crucial stops late in the game to prevail.
Solis led Olivarez with 21 points, alongside five rebounds, two assists, and the same number of steals to complete his momentous day. He’d also received his MVP plum from PG Flex Linoleum owner Nelson Guevarra.
He amassed 314 statistical points to win the highest individual award.
Meanwhile, he normed 22.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1 steal and 3.5 blocks in the eliminations to steer the Sea Lions to their third finals appearance.
Joining Solis in the Mythical Team are Diliman College’s Johnnel Bauzon; Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas’ Sandee Diez; Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas’ Aliane Lapasaran; and UB’s JJ Caspe.
University of Batangas’ Raoul Yemeli emerged as the best foreign player after averaging 14.4 points, 13 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Earlier, Centro Escolar University finished third by blasting University of Batangas, 75-55, thanks to a fourth-quarter splurge.
Malick Diouf led the Scorpions with 18 points and 14 rebounds, as well as four assists and four blocks. CEU pulled away for good after encountering stiff resistance in the first two quarters.
The Sea Lions can clinch their first title in three finals appearance with another win on Monday.