By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
The University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) Rams will be facing University of the East (UE) Red Warriors at 8 a.m. today at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum (USLS) in a match to determine which squad will take the top seat in Bracket D of the ongoing 17th Sandugo-Unigames in Bacolod City.
With both teams undefeated with 3-0 record, the Gerome Aledron-mentored Rams will try to hold their ground against the Red Warriors of seasoned coach Boysie Zamar.
Yesterday, the UNO-R Rams beat University of San Agustin Eagles, 92-72, for its third straight win at the West Negros University (WNU) gym.
Despite arriving late, the Rams posted an early 2-point lead, 8-6 ,before both squads tied up at 14-all with 3 minutes left in the opening quarter, and the Rams pulling a 3-point advantage at the end of the period.
The Bacolod-based squad continued to surge in the second quarter extending the lead to 10 points, 34-24, in the middle of the period.
However, the Eagles did not give up as they cut the lead down to 6 points but UNO-R sustained the momentum to stay on top at the break, 44-37.
Aledron’s team pulled away in the third with 14 points with 2-minute mark in the period, 60-46, as the Rams closed the quarter still in the lead, 68-56.
UNO-R sustained fuel in the final period as they enjoyed a 12-point advantage, 72-60, with 8 minutes left in regulation.
The Eagles again threatened the Rams when they slashed the lead down to 6 points with 4:12 left in the game, and further cut the advantage down to 4 points with 1:38 remaining.
However, the Rams sustained the game flow by putting up a 5-point advantage with 46.6 seconds left and eventually secured their lead towards the final buzzer.
Meanwhile, despite leading by 7 points, 58-51 entering the playoff period, the host-USLS Stingers were unable to sustain the momentum as they bowed to John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU), 77-73, during the match played at the Bacolod Tay Tung High School gym.
JBLFMU rallied to post a 5-point advantage with 5 minutes left in the game, 65-60.
But the host-squad fought hard to keep close with less than 3 minutes left in the game, 68-66, yet the effort was short to overturn the game’s result.
On the other hand, after the huge 107-73 victory over the University of the Immaculate Concepcion on Tuesday, last year’s runner-up WNU Mustangs suffered their second setback yesterday against the National University Bulldogs, 80-56, at USLS Coliseum.
Bobby Ray Parks, UAAP Rookie of the Year, anchored the offense of Coach Eric Altamirano’s squad.
The University of Sto. Tomas spikers disappointed UNO-R men’s team at home, 25-15, 25-19, 18-25, 25-14 while University of Mindanao defeated Xavier University, 25-7, 25-20, 25-20.
Over at USLS covered court, Adamson University Soaring Falcons downed UE Red Warrior, 25-9, 26-24, 15-25, 25-23.
In the men’s table tennis at Lopue’s Mandalagan, De la Salle University defeated Rizal Technological University (RTU), 3-0, while USLS won over University of Northern Philippines by default.
In the distaff side, Central Philippine University won over RTU as De La Salle-College of St. Benilde won over Xavier University, also by default.
Meanwhile, San Beda College also won over UNP by default as JBLFMU defeated Holy Cross of Davao College.
The Ateneo de Manila University Lady Blue Eagles blanked University of San Carlos, 2-nil, at the USLS pitch while DSLU blasted Foundation University, 2-0.
On the other hand, the 17th Sandugo Unigames fashion show of athletes wearing Sandugo items will be staged tonight at 6 at the SM City./WDJ