A PERFECT season on their road to the championship— the CEU Scorpions made history in the NCRAA men’s basketball tournament.
On Wednesday, the Scorpions survived the Philippine Merchant Marine School Mariners, 62-61, at the Paco Arena in what was easily one of the best games ever played in the tournament.
The Scorpions squandered a big lead early on and found themselves teetering on the brink of defeat as the Mariners repeatedly came back and poised to salvage a no tomorrow encounter.
But for CEU, there’s no other day but now as coach Derick Pumaren and his troops withstood the challenge posed by coach Aldrin Morante and his Mariners.
“I’m really happy for the boys. I know PMMS would come back. But our player dig deep, they suck it up and there’s no reason to be tired,” said Pumaren.
It was a perfect 11-0 campaign for the Scorpions, who also defeated the Mariners, 63-59, in Game 1, but for Pumaren, in ability of his team not to buckle down under pressure was a big factor in completing the task.
“We played four straight games. That’s how tough it was for us,” said Pumaren.
The triumvirate of Tyrone Chan, Christian Uri and Rich Gunitaran combined forces as they wrought havoc on the Mariners’ side.
Chan finished with 16 points and eight rebounds while Uri added 14 markers. Gunitaran, the scoring champion added 12 points and eight boards as the Scorpions showed balance firepower in the second and deciding game.