By Kristel Satumbaga
(Olivarez gym, Parañaque City)
12 noon – Diliman vs CEU
2 p.m. – LPU-B vs TIP
4 p.m. – UB vs Olivarez
Defending champion Diliman College guns for the first semifinal berth when it faces Centro Escolar University Thursday in the PG Flex Linoleum-Universities and Colleges Basketball League at the Olivarez College gym in Parañaque City.
Match is at 12 noon with the top-seeded Blue Dragons staking their seven-game winning run at the start of the second-round eliminations.
Apart from preserving its pristine record and a Final Four ticket, Diliman also aims to duplicate its 90-62 first-round victory over third seed CEU last Sept. 26.
Unlike the last time where the Scorpions played with only six players due to other commitments, CEU will come in full force to avenge that defeat.
The Scorpions also hope to bounce back from a recent 66-53 loss to the Lyceum of the Philippines-Batangas Pirates.
Each group plays another round with all teams carrying their win-loss records and the top two teams earning twice-to-beat advantages in the semis.
Diliman and CEU are bracketed with No. 5 Lyceum and No. 7 Technological Institute of the Philippines, while Group B is composed of No. 2 University of Batangas, No. 4 Olivarez College, No. 6 Philippine Christian University-Dasmariñas and No. 8 National College of Business and Arts.
With Diliman’s tally, the Blue Dragons needed only to win once to barge into the semis anchored on Robbi Darang, Johnnel Bauzon and Ismael Pacheco, who finished in double figures in their recent 102-77 triumph over UB.
In other games, Lyceum tackles TIP at 2 p.m. while UB clashes with Olivarez at 4 p.m.