Highly-touted recruit Soulemane Chabi Yo finally suited up for the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers. And it was worth the wait, as he powered the Growling Tigers as they handed the Diliman College Blue Dragons their first loss, 74-68, and denied them a sweep of the first round of the 2018 SMART-UCBL Summer Tournament at the Philippine Buddhacare Academy, Wednesday afternoon.
UST end the first round at 2-3, but the Benin student-athlete’s arrival should make the second round a bit more interesting.
Chabi Yo’s presence also pumped up his teammates with Brent Paraiso hitting a side triple to break the game’s final deadlock with 1:34 to play, 69-66. Sherwin Concepcion then followed with a three-point play at the 51-second mark, and Chabi Yo fittingly iced the win from the free throw line before Enriquez made a late lay-up for the final tally.
Chabi Yo scored a quick nine points in the first for a 23-11 lead, and finished with a total of 23 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Paraiso had four triples for 19 points.
Adama Diakhite paced Diliman with 33 points, 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
In other action, the Centro Escolar University Scorpioons maintained their grip on second spot with a 75-72 escape over the National University Bulldogs. On the other hand, the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers also ended their slump by keeping the Olivarez College Sea Lions winless, 70-65.
CEU banked on a turnaround shot by Gilles Oloume and an Orlan Wamar triple to enjoy a 74-68 advantage with 3:16 remaining.
Tzaddy Rangel and Robert Minerva brought the Bulldogs closer with a hook shot and two free throws respectively, 72-74, but it was not enough as Chami Diputado bungled two free throws at the 11-second mark. It lead to a split from Keanu Caballero to end the game and Minerva missing his desperation corner shot at the buzzer.
Wamar paced the Scorpions with 11 points and three assists as they rose to 3-1 with one more game at hand against Olivarez this Saturday to formally close the first round. Tyron Chan added 10 points, while Oloume had nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Heavy Bombers finally avoided a second half collapse that has cost them several games in the tournament.
Jed Mendoza topped JRU with 16 points, while former NCAA Juniors MVP Darius Estrella scored six of his 14 points towards the end of the third period for a 49-40 cushion, which they were able to maintain for their second win in five games.
JRU (70) – Mendoza 16, Estrella 14, Mallari 10, Yu 8, Padua 8, Steinl 6, Esguerra 4, Silvarez 2, Bordon 2, Ramos 0, David 0, de la Rosa 0.
Olivarez (65) – Elie 13, Castro 12, Saguiguit 8, Campos 7, Geronimo 7, Rocero 5, Santos 4, Almajeda 3, Siegue 2, de Leon 2, Completo 2, Patizar 0, Ignacio 0, Terania 0.
Quarterscores: 15-12, 29-28, 70-65.
CEU (75) – Wamar 11, Chan 10, Oloume 9, Rojas 8, Formento 7, Guinitaran 7, Cruz 6, Galinato 6, Ko Caballero 5, Ke Caballero 4, Uri 2.
NU (72) – Salim 13, Yu 11, Minerva 11, Rangel 10, Penano 7, Malonzo 7, Diputado 3, Puray 3, Atienza 3, Sistoza 2, Flores 2.
Quarterscores: 18-20, 36-37, 60-57, 75-72.
UST (74) – Chabi Yo 23, Paraiso 19, Concepcion 11, Ayo 10, Pangilinan 6, Abando 3, Yongco 2, Enriquez 0, Bataller 0, Batuzolele 0, Monje 0, Lagumen 0.
Diliman (68) – Diakhite 33, Enriquez 18, Arceta 10, Torrado 3, Darang 2, Diaz 2, Olea 0, Tay 0, Salazar 0, Cecilio 0, Bauzon 0, Brutas 0, Sombero 0, Mbiya 0.
Quarterscores: 23-11, 37-29, 54-50, 74-68.