Olivarez College arranged a title rematch with Diliman College Monday after outlasting University of Batangas, 83-79, in the rubber match of their semis series yesterday in the PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
The Sea Lions, who lost to the Diliman Blue Dragons last season, teetered on the brink of collapse when the Brahmans took a 79-77 lead when Sam Heidelburg made two gift shots with 86 ticks left.
But timely baskets from Ace Lavariaz and Kim Siege and three vital free throws from the 6-foot-7 Elie Yani saved the day for the Sea Lions who will be playing in the finals for the third time.
The Sea Lions enjoyed a twice-to-beat advantage in the series but lost to the fourth-ranked Brahmans, 89-80, last Monday, thus forcing a rubber match.
Diliman, which finished No. 1 in the two-phase elims, clinched the first finals berth by downing Centro Escolar University in their own semis series last week.
Game 1 of the best-of-three title series is set on Thursday also at the Olivarez College.
Rey Joey Barcuma led Olivarez’s well-balanced attack with 17 points, Jayboy Solis contributed 17, while Lance de Leon had 11 points.
Yani produced 12 rebounds and eight points – his last two free throws with nine seconds turned out to be the insurance baskets.
Melvin Ricana paced the Brahmans with 14 points while JJ Caspe added 11.