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Scorpions use second stringers in win against UST



Even with the absence of four of their key players, the CEU Scorpions displayed a complete team effort in defeating the UST Growling Tigers 82-77 to keep a 5-1 slate in Group B of the 2015 FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup Saturday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City

In the first quarter, UST co-captains Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag went on a tear in scoring all but one point in UST’s 20 point outing. CEU’s Alfred Batino and Carlo Casino had a hard time in covering the two Tigers. The inside presence of Joseph Celso and the shooting of Mon Abundo and Batino kept the Scorpions in the game as UST took a 20-14 lead entering the second frame of the game.

The pace of the game changed as CEU big man Rodrigue Ebondo entered the game. The Growling Tigers had a hard time slashing into the paint with Ebondo in the game and settled for jumpers. Furthermore, the bench of UST did not pick-up where the starters left off. The Scorpions then slowly chipped in to the lead behind Kenneth de Leon’s hot shooting and Batino’s dominance inside the paint. UST coach Bong dela Cruz decided to bring back Daquioag and Ferrer into the game. Daquioag continued to score at will as he scored 23 points in the first half but his team went down 40-37 before halftime.

Daquioag sparked a quick 8-3 rally to open the third canto to give UST a 45-43 lead. With the España-based squad gaining a 52-47 lead at the halfway point of the quarter, Kenneth de Leon created open shots for his teammates that broke down the UST defense. It sparked a 7-0 rally that gave CEU a 55-52 lead. Ebondo was then fielded to close out the quarter that gave Batino more free shots to give CEU a 63-57.

Joseph Celso then stepped up for CEU to help extend their lead to 10 points with 4:58 remaining in the game. In that stretch, the Growling Tigers were only able to convert on three field goals, including a three by Kent Lao. After a timeout, Marvin Lee dished out two excellent assists to Ferrer and Daquioag to cut the lead down to six with 3:33 remaining. The CEU Scorpions, however, stepped up in clogging the lanes. In the final three minutes of the game, UST was only able to convert on two shots while Ebondo scored on the inside to close-out his team’s fifth win in six outings.

After the game, Coach Edgar Macaraya did not elaborate on the reason why four of his players were sanctioned as it was a “ CEU family matter.” However, the winning coach could not hide how proud he was of the players who stepped up their game. “Everyone played like a team today. This win shows how hard these boys work”

With key players JM Vargas, Aaron Jeruta, Samboy De Leon, and Jason Opiso not partaking in the game due to a disciplinary sanction by Coach Edgar Macaraya and his staff, the Scorpions had a hard time defending UST’s two spot the entire game. “The two-guards, especially Daquioag, of UST exploited our guards [on defense], dahil maliit kasi mga natira [sa amin],” CEU head coach Edgar Macaraya said.

Batino led six CEU players in double figures with 20 points and 12 rebounds with 11 of his points coming from the charity stripe. Ebondo also had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds. For UST, it was a two-man show as Daquioag and Ferrer, scoring 34 and 28 respectively, were the only who hit double digits for UST. The rest of the team combined for just 15 points.

As a team, CEU shot 41% from the field and 44% from three point country compared to UST’s dismal 35% shooting. In addition, CEU outrebounded UST 56-43.

The CEU Scorpions next face the DLSU Green Archers on Saturday, May 30 at 5:00pm while UST face LPU on Wednesday, at 11:45am.

The Scores:

CEU 82 – Batino 20, Ebondo 13, Casino 12, Anunciacion 12, De Leon 10, Celso 10, Abundo 5, Aquino 0, Saber 0, Aranas 0

UST 77 – Daquioag 34, Ferrer 28, Lao 6, Lee 3, Bonleon 3, Sheriff 2, Kakonda 1, Huang 0, Caunan 0, Garrido 0, Faundo 0, Mayor 0

CEU (B, 5-1)13406382
UST (B, 2-3)20375777