Scorpions rip Mighty Maroons

Reigning champion Centro Escolar University barely showed signs of slowing down as it walloped returning Polytechnic University of the Philippines, 88-64, in the National Capital Region Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament late Monday at the Paco Arena.

Franz Diaz, the only remaining member of the 2019 champion squad, delivered 18 points on 7-of-9 field goal shooting to stabilize the Scorpions’ solid game that led to their first win in this collegiate tourney.

Ron Tolentino finished with a double-double performance of 13 points and 10 rebounds while Dave Bernabe and Anthony Borromeo tallied 12 points apiece for the Scorpions, who are now being handled by coach Jeff Perlas.

“We never stopped training because we were so determined to retain the championship,” Diaz, who asserted his leadership against the Mighty Maroons early on, said.

“Even during the pandemic, we continued our workout.”

Then being handled by multi-titled coach Derick Pumaren, CEU went on to post an 11-game sweep in 2019 en route to winning the championship.

Also winning were Philippine Merchant Marine School, Olivarez College and Immaculada Concepcion, which completed a day of blowout victories.

After escaping an 85-84 win over a crack PATTS-College of Aeronautics on opening day, the Mariners dominated newcomer Bestlink, 73-62, with Michael Sosing flirting with a triple-double performance of 33 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals.

Immaculada Concepcion added Lyceum Laguna to its list of victims as it posted an 86-63 victory to join PMMS with a 2-0 win-loss card.

Olivarez also gave Asian Institute of Maritime Studies a sound beating, 100-67, with five players finishing in double figures led by Iverson Aquiatan, who wound up with 13 markers.

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