DILIMAN College is top seed.
Robbie Darang made sure about it.
Darang played the hero’s role anew as he hit the game-winning basket with 17 seconds left to lead Diliman to a heart-stopping 87-86 win over Centro Escolar University and the No. 1 ranking in the semis of the UCBL Season 3 at the Olivarez College gym.
Darang's basket came after Keanu Caballero put CEU ahead for the last time at 86-85 with 22 seconds remaining.
Darang finished with 19 points, five assists andv four rebounds, while Joseph Brutas added 12 points for the Quezon Ciry-based Blue Dragons.
Three other mainstays -- Kevine Gandjeto (11 points), Johnnel Bauzon (11), and John Mahari (10) -- also stepped up big for the Blue Dragons.
With the win, the Dragons finished with the league’s best record at 11-1, with their only loss coming at the gands of the Scorpions in the first round of eliminations.
The Scorpions settled for second place at 10-2.
In the semis, Diliman will meet No. 4 Technological Institute of the Philippines in the semifinals starting on Monday. CEU will play No. 2 Olivarez College in the other semifinal pairing.
“CEU is a tough team. They have a good coaching staff, lalo na si coach Derrick Pumaren. Malaking panalo ito sa amin,” said Diliman coach Rensy Bajar after ending CEU's 10-game winning streak.
Bajar said the continued support of the Diliman College community, led by former Sen. Nikki Coseteng, and Gerry's Grill, thru sports patron Jerome Ngo and Wilson Sia, provide the inspiration for the players and coaching staff to work harder and perform better.
“We share all the success of our team to our friends and supporters, who believe in us and our system,” said Bajar, also the first assistant coach of NorthPort Batang Pier.
Diliman (87) --Darang 19, Brutas 12, Gandjeto 11, Bauzon 11, Mahari 10, Enriquez 9, J Salazar 7, E Salazar 5, Sombero 2, Lisika 1, Coquia 0.
CEU (86) --Guinitaran 21, Diouf 16, Ke Caballero 11, Chan 10, Diaz 9, Fuentes 8, Formento 7, Uri 2, Intic 2, Rojas 0.
Quarterscores: 13-21, 43-43, 75-66, 87-86.