PCU grabs 1st victory

5 05 2007

DESPITE the agony that hounds all over their campus, Philippine Christian University bounced back from an opening game setback to give University of the Philippines an unwelcomed debut in the Fil-Oil-Flying V Preseason Invitational Cup.

The PCU Dolphins relied on the hot-hands of Leimar Navarro and Lisztian Amparado to pull-off a decisive 85-76 victory over the State U Fighting Maroons on Friday at the Arena in San Juan City .

Guard Navarro flamboyantly did 10 of his 20 points in the final period, including a hang-time lay- up against Fighting Maroon defenders to provide the Dolphins a 77-68 lead with 3:41 to go.

“Everybody has our attention because of the issue against our school,” said Navarro. “But our coach is telling us to just keep on playing and stay on focus.”

Amparado shared eight of his 15 points in the final period that also helped PCU to keep its lead for good. His two free throws plus a basket gave them an 81-72 lead with 1:51 remaining.

The Dolphins just milked the clock from there to take the win.

PCU, with the win, already has a 1-1 card.

“We wake up one morning then we learn that we are suspended and there’s nothing we can do but to go on,” said PCU two-year mentor Joel Dualan. “We have to rebuild our team and we should start here.”

UP took a 23-17 lead in the first quarter after VJ Serios, who had 14 points, drilled in six straight points.

PCU stayed down when UP started to connect from the three-point area courtesy of VJ Serios, who sniped for three triples in the second quarter. His third trey – a buzzer beater – gave UP a 44-41 halftime lead.

The Dolphins successfully regrouped in the third quarter, where Navarro and McCoy provided clutch baskets, to seize the edge, 62-60, with 8:17 to go.

Big man Marlon Gomez, who scored 10 points, hit a three-point play to extend the lead, 67-60, with 2:23 left. In the final moments of the ball game, it was all a Navarro and Amparado show.

Box scores:

PCU 85: Navarro 20, Amparado 15, Gomez 10, Manalili 9, McCoy 8, Boliver 8, Busa 5, Santos 5, Chan 1, Siruya 1.

UP 76: Serios 14, Agbayani 10, De Asis 8, Lopez 7, Gamboa 7, Rivera 6, Yulo 5, Rosales 5, Lozano 3, Sison 2, Reyes 2, Marfori 2, Wong 2.

Quarter scores: 17-23, 41-44, 71-65, 85-76

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