Centro Escolar University survived the spirited challenge of two-time defending champion Diliman College to extend its winning run to five games, 92-73, in the 5th PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Monday, Nov. 28, at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The CEU Scorpions struck hardest in the second quarter, outscoring the Blue Dragons, 28-17, to rip the game wide apart, 47-34, a lead they even hiked to 22 early in the third to stay unbeaten in the seven-team tournament.
Displaying the deep of their bench, five CEU players wound up in twin digits with Ayodeji Balogun logging 13 points and seven boards as he helped the Scorpions hand the three-peat seeking Blue Dragons their second defeat in five starts.
In other games, Olivarez College bounced back from a 20-point drubbing the last time by downing Guang Ming College-Tagaytay, 83-76, while University of Batangas outlasted beating Lyceum-Batangas, 84-75, thanks to the 21-point performance of Don Tabol.
CEU’s winning margin over Diliman was the closest so far after romping to 92-39 and 117-60 wins over Philippine Christian University-Dasmarinas and Lyceum, respectively, in their previous two games.
Still reeling from a 79-59 defeat to two-time defending champion Diliman College on Nov. 24, the Sea Lions started slow and trailed GMC 28-21 at the end of the first quarter.
The Sea Lions managed to keep the game close in the next frame before erupting for 23 points in the third to grab the lead, 63-61, and the momentum on the way to their third win in four starts.
Five Olivarez players scored in double figures with Edmund dela Cruz leading the way with 22 points while Redel Fabro and Lance De Leon contributed 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Guang Ming, which stunned Lyceum-Batangas in the opener, absorbed their fourth straight defeat despite the 25-point and 10-rebound performance from Kurt Lactaotao.