Different venue, same outcome. The STI College Olympians doesn’t mind the venue change as it continued its amazing run at the start of the quarterfinals with an 80 – 55 win over their chief rivals the AMA Computer University Titans. The Olympians has previously beaten the Titans in the lone out of town game last month 61 – 41 and this win solidifies the Olympians hold on second place as the University of Manila Hawks got back at their only tormentor the New Era University Hunters 68 – 61 while the third placed Centro Escolar University lost to defending champion San Sebastian College Cavite 72 -63 which gave the Olympians a two game lead over its next pursuers.
Team Captain Norman Ihalas started the Olympians onslaught as he scored 7 of the Olympians first 11 points to lead the Olympians. Ihalas would top score as he scattered 18 points. Finally, the elusive outside shots that were not able to fall in the elimination round were falling at the start of the quarterfinals. Rookie guards RK Morales and Abby Chavez also had their contributions from beyond the arc as the two connive on the torrid shooting of the Olympians as both players combined for 20 points.
Defense was still the key for the Olympians win as the relentless defense of the Olympians limited the Titans to 30 points for the first three quarters as the Olympians led by as much as 35 points, 65 – 30 at the end of three quarters. Because of the solid interior defense of the Olympians, Hessed Gabo and Jasper Melano were able to run and score for fastbreak points as the two scored 12 points each. The guards have come alive for the Olympians which is very important going towards the homestretch of the quarterfinals.
The interior defense and offense were adequately manned by the three bigmen of the Olympians. Henri Atanga-Betayene had 6 points, 8 rebound 2 steals and a block while Maclean Sabellina also had 6 points 8 rebounds, 2 steals and one block shot while Ablaza contributed only 2 points but had 4 rebounds 3 assists and one steal. The collectively effort of the three made it difficult for the opponents big men to score inside.
STI COLLEGE 80
Ihalas 18, Morales 13, Gabo 12, Melano 12, Chavez 7, Sabellina 6, Betayene 6, Riva 3, Ablaza 2, Alcantara 1, Daguplo 0, Villadoz 0, Bocablo 0.
Mbomiko 11, Mangalindan 10, Ibarra 8, Alvarado 8, Maravilla 5, Ebidag 5, Tan 4, Cabico 2, Matias 2, Nicolas 0, Narag 0.
QrtrScores 18 – 10; 44 – 16; 65 – 30; 80 – 55 Final