Centro Escolar University (CEU) inched closer to earning an outright finals berth with an 81-68 beating of two-time defending champion Diliman College spot in the 5th PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Thursday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
In reaffirming their mastery over the Blue Dragons, the Scorpions used another strong start to extend their winning streak in the seven-team, double-round elims tournament to 11 games.
They can advance outright to the finals with another win over Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas on Monday.
Meantime, University of Batangas drubbed Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, 108-90, and stayed in the hunt for the last semis spot.
The Brahmans asserted their class over the Pirates from start to finish, leading by as many as 30 points to cruise to the big win that hiked their record to 5-6 record, just a game behind PCU which is current ranked at fourth spot with a 6-5 record.
Claude Njike Tabeth posted a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead UB while Harold De Guzman and Joseph Torres added 17 points apiece.
Olivarez College held off Guang Ming College, 70-62, to also build its own momentum for the playoffs.
The win enabled the Sea Lions to finish the elims tied with the Blue Dragons with similar 8-4 records but the latte will finish at No. 2 due to better quotient.
The Sea Lions bucked a slow start that saw them trail, 7-18 at the end of the opening frame before finally getting their bearings going into the second frame to seize control the rest of the way.
John Laurence Uduba spearheaded the attack for the Sea Lions with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds while John Umali added 11 as Olivarez improved to an 8-4 record in the standings.