Xavier Juniors Retain â€śKiao Chingâ€ť Crown
by Henry Liao for philippinebasketball.ph (04/26/2010)
It was the third straight championship for the Xavier Golden Stallions in the seven-team, school-based Division II of the tournament organized by the renowned Kiao Ching Athletic Association.
Xavier, which dropped an 83-78 decision to Hope Christian during the elimination round, grabbed a stunning 54-33 advantage at halftime as Under-18 RP Youth Team member Jeron Teng exploded for 20 points and streak-shooting Chase Tan knocked in five three-pointers, including the gameâ€™s lone four-point play, and scored 18 markers.
Hope Christian, however, engineered a furious fourth-quarter rally behind cat-quick guard Janrey Garrido and big men Jessie Pedrosa and Errol Villar to trim the Stallionsâ€™ lead to six points, 79-73.
Xavier (7-1) subsequently doused the fire with timely baskets from Teng and Abram Vera Cruz and a pair of crucial defensive stops by stratospheric Reimond Go â€“ a blocked shot and a defensive rebound â€“ to pin Hope Christian (7-1) with its lone loss in the annual summer tournament.
Teng, who planed in from Dumaguete City just hours before the start of the titular match (he saw action with the Under-18 RP Youth squad in a tuneup game against a top Dumaguete team the night before), led the Golden Stallions with 38 points. Teng also was voted the Division II tournamentâ€™s Most Valuable Player.
Tan was a surprise package for Coach Jonathan (Budds) Reyesâ€™ troops and finished with 24 markers, including seven threes.
Vera Cruz scored a dozen points for the winners and Paolo Cabero added nine.
In the alumni-based Division I (for players 21 years old and under), St. Stephenâ€™s High School, behind Kish Co, whipped Chiang Kai Shek College to capture the title.
Co, a member of De La Salleâ€™s 2007 UAAP championship unit, was named the MVP in Division I.
Xavier, which had won the Division I title for the past three seasons (2007-08-09), settled for third place with a 78-70 win over Philippine Cultural College.