By: Anthony Servinio
QUEZON CITY – De La Salle University-Dasmarinas claimed the final Group B quarterfinal berth in the National Capital Region Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA) by defeating National College of Business and Arts, 92-85, at the Colegio de San Lorenzo Gym Tuesday (March 7). The Patriots earned their fourth win in seven games will next face Group A undefeated top seed De Ocampo Memorial College.
Needing no less than a win to cement their place in the next round, the Patriots went all out early on behind the prolific tandem of Pacholo Loor and team captain John Cantimbuhan to take the first period, 29-24. Cantimbuhan then continued his hot streak into the second period and Jastine Amponin scored at will underneath as DLSU threatened to turn the game into a blowout by halftime, 64-41.
The Wildcats also needed to win by 28 markers or more in order to force a triple tie with DLSU and idle Philippine State College of Aeronautics and grab the tiebreaker. With that in mind, NCBA went on a second half rampage but fell short.
Joseph de la Cruz drove to the hoop to put the Wildcats within a point nearing the two-minute warning, 82-83. However, Amponin completed a close stab followed by a triple by Cantimbuhan to erect an unassailable 88-82 margin with Ira Kim Imperial icing the game with four consecutive free throws in the waning seconds.
Cantimbuhan led all scorers with 29 points, including 11 made in the pivotal second period. Amponin followed with 18.
CJ Catura paced the Wildcats with 23 points. De la Cruz finished with 19 points, 10 coming in the opening period as he shot it out against Cantimbuhan and Loor.
San Lorenzo emerged as the undefeated top seed in Group B and will play Olivarez College. The other crossover quarterfinal pairings are Saint Francis of Assisi College versus PATTS College of Aeronautics and Rizal Technological University against Philippine Merchant Marine School.
Ho w They Scored:
DLSU-DASMARINAS (92) – Cantimbuhan 29, Amponin 18, Loor 13, Imperial 11, Remonte 9, Khan 6, Mojica 4, Caronongan 2, de Vera 0, Ronquillo 0, Lesmoras 0.
N C B A (85) – Catura 23, de la Cruz 19, Busa 14, Detubio 11, Nuyda 9, Biteng 3, Acsayan 2, Oreiro 2, Mendoza 2, de Quiroz 0.
Period Scores: 29-24, 54-41, 75-69, 92-85.