Immaculada Concepcion and Centro Escolar University ruled the National Capital Region Athletic Association as they hurdled their respective finals rivals on Friday at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Gym in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The Blue Hawks of ICC held off repeated rallies by Olivarez College before posting a 79-70 win in Game 2 of their best-of-three championship series and bagging their first-ever championship in the 29th season of the tournament.
Alfred Flores flirted with a triple-double performance of 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as his scintillating showing all series long carried the Blue Hawks’ dominance against the most imposing squad in the tournament.
Prior to the championship series, the Sealions of Olivarez were carrying an immaculate 13-game winning run, sweeping all their 11 games in the elimination round and winning two games in the playoffs.
But it was Immaculada Concepcion which came through with victories in the end.
Right after snapping Olivarez’s perfect mark with a thrilling 80-79 win in the series opener, the Blue Hawks came out brimming with confidence and stamped their class in Game 2.
“Right after we won Game 1, I saw the desire of the players to win. We had a 6 to 9 a.m. practice the next day, but they were there as early as 5 a.m.,” said Ogie Gumatay, a multiple-time champion player in the Philippine Basketball Association, who won his first ever collegiate championship as coach.
“They stuck to the game plan, continued to believe in the system and this is the result.”
Earlier, CEU outplayed host team PUP, 85-70, to cap a perfect season.