MANILA, Philippines - BJ Faundo fired seven of his 16 points in the last quarter as Olivarez College downed La Salle-Dasmariñas, 67-62, yesterday to move within a win from bagging 11th Universities and Colleges Athletic Association (UCAA) men’s basketball crown.
Held to just nine points in the first three quarters, Faundo took charge in the fourth, eluding his defenders to knock in a jumper and a triple that helped key the Sea Lions’ strong finishing kick for the victory at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat.
The Sea Lions also toughened up on defense in the fourth to complement Faundo’s scoring burst.
Olivarez goes for a sweep of their best-of-three series tomorrow at La Salle-Dasmariñas gym.
The hosts actually trailed, 47-51, after three quarters but bounced back strong in the fourth to seize a 55-51 lead en route to victory in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Molten Balls.
“Our defense paid off in the fourth quarter. That’s what won the game for us,” said Sea Lions coach Michael Saguiguit, adding the team drew inspiration from the presence of top school official Dr. Pablo Olivarez.
Franklin Mancio banged in 18 points for the Sea Lions, who lost the crown to the Philippine School of Business Administration Jaguars last year.
Jet Manuel scored 15 points for the Patriots, who will try to force a sudden death at the Ugnayang La Salle gym.
The Macky Torres-coached Patriots made it to the finals by beating the Manuel L. Quezon University Stallions, 79-68, last Monday.