Benin’s Kevine Gandjeto imposed his will inside in the payoff period as Diliman College outlasted Olivarez College, 63-57, and annexed its first championship in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) Season 3 yesterday.
Silencing the big Sea Lions crowd that packed the Olivarez gym in Parañaque, Gandjeto produced the game’s biggest plays for the Blue Dragons in the final three minutes of play.
Gandjeto’s dunk in the last 10.6 seconds put an exclamation point for Diliman to clinch the hotly-contested best-of-three series, 2-1.
For a jubilant Blue Dragons coach Rensy Bajar, those sleepless nights were worth it.
“Napakasarap itong championship na ito. No one expected us to be in this situation. It was hard work and perseverance of the players that won it for us,” said Bajar.
Atoning himself from a seven-point, five-rebound outing in last Thursday’s 71-80 loss that leveled the series, Gandjeto finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and three steals for Diliman.
Graduating swingman John Mahari, who scored four of his seven points in the Blue Dragons’ telling 11-0 run that erased a 41-47 deficit early in the fourth period that changed the complexion of the match, was named the
Diliman (63) – Brutas 14, Gandjeto 14, Bauzon 11, Mahari 7, Enriquez 6, Darang 4, Salazar E. 4, Coquia 3, Salazar J. 0, Ligon 0.
Olivarez (57) — Almajeda 14, Saguiguit 12, Elie 9, Lalata 8, Castro 6, Begaso 4, Udoba 2, Sala 2, Completo 0, De Leon 0.
Quarterscores: 15-15, 32-28, 41-45, 63-57