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UCBL: CEU moves on verge of Finals; Olivarez, Diliman clinch semis seats


Centro Escolar University pulled away in the second half and romped to a 91-70 win over University of Batangas to keep its pristine record in the 5th PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) at the Paco Arena in Manila on Monday, Jan. 9.

The Scorpions came out swinging following the break, unleashing a fiery 26-9 run that saw them establish a huge 21-point lead which they wisely protected on the way to nailing their 10th win in as many games.

They can advance outright in the finals if they beat defending champion Diliman College on Thursday and Philippine Christian University on the last elimination day on Monday.

Jhomel Ancheta led the balanced attack for CEU with 19 points and nine rebounds. Henry Agunnane added 15 points and nine boards.

The UB fell to a 4-6 record, allowing Olivarez and Diliman to clinch their spots in the semifinals following their victories earlier in the day.

The Sea Lions did not miss a beat even after a long holiday break, clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas Pirates, 89-75. Meanwhile, the Blue Dragons slipped past the Dolphins, 79-74, to usher in the league’s resumption in the new year.

Olivarez got off to a strong start and immediately took full control of the contest after a 34-14 salvo in the opening frame.

The fiery start for the Sea Lions practically set the tone for the wire-to-wire finish. Olivarez built a lead that ballooned to as many as 28 points, 83-55 midway through the final frame.

Robbie Darang and Carmel Espinosa provided some clutch hits to help the Blue Dragons stave off a late fightback from the Dolphins for an 8-3 record, just half a game ahead of Olivarez.

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Darang finished with 23 points, while Espinosa and Kyle Perez chipped in 14 each.

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