Game Result/Finals Game Two:
CKSC beat Hope Christian HS, 2-0, to capture Juniors title for the first time since 2007. Hope Christian HS has not won the Juniors crown since 1993.
Notes: Chiang Kai Shek College beat Hope Christian High School, 75-63, in Game Two of the best-of-three Juniors Division finals of the 42nd MMTLBA tournament at the Uno High School Gym to capture its 15th overall crown via a two-game sweep.
Last Monday (Feb. 20), CKSC whipped HCHS, 79-75, to take the series opener.
The Blue Dragons never trailed after grabbing an 18-16 edge at the end of the first 10-minute quarter, which was marked by two deadlocks (8-all and 14-all) and three lead changes.
CKSC enjoyed its first double-digit lead, 36-25, at halftime after tallying the last eight points in the second quarter, including a pair of three-pointers by Kimlee Bayquin.
The Blue Dragons made it 11 consecutive points as Carlo Young opened the third quarter with a trey of his own for a 39-25 advantage.
A pair of free throws by Hope Christian HS playmaker Janrey Garrido trimmed HCHS’s deficit to nine points, 46-37, but a John Kevin Baytan twinner restored CKSC’s lead top 13, 57-44, at the end of three quarters.
Backup frontliner Jibon Larin opened the fourth and payoff quarter with a basket as the Blue Dragons enjoyed their biggest lead, 59-44.
With eight minutes and 32 seconds remaining, and CKSC ahead, 59-48, a 10-minute brownout struck due to a circuit breakdown. When the lights came back, Hope Christian regained its bearing and slowly sliced CKSC’s lead to four, 62-58, at the 4:48 mark on a 10-run built around Garrido’s five points, including a long triple.
A Garrido error following a botched CKSC offensive took the life of the top-seeded HCHS as the Blue Dragons moved ahead by eight points, 66-58, after a magnificent spin move by Baytan with 2:34 left.
Garrido hit his third triple to cut HCHS’s deficit to five, 66-61, but three free throws by Young and 6-6 center Wilson Bartolome put5 CKSC safely ahead, 71-63, time down to 41.3 seconds.
With 23 seconds left, a commotion happened when Bartolome grabbed a defensive rebound and was struck hard in the nape by Christian Errol Villar for his fifth and final foul. Bartolome took offense to the hard foul and a verbal skirmish between CKSC’s Bayquin and Baytan and HCHS’s King Benemerito developed. HCHS’s Edralin Villanueva and Leo Guion were sent off the floor for joining the fray off the bench.
Young led four CKSC players in double-digit scoring. He collected 21 points (on 6-11 FG, 7-8 FT shooting), six rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes. Nieles, a senior, got 17 points (including 10 in the first half), four boards, four assists and three steals in his final Tiong Lian appearance.
Bayquin, who like Young still has a year of TL eligibility, knocked in three triples and totaled 16 markers and five reebies for the Blue Dragons, whose first-year head coach Goldwin Monteverde picked up his sixth Juniors title overall (the first five were with St. Stephen’s High School), second most to current CKSC consultant Sunny Co’s seven (all with CKSC, the last one coming in 2007) on the all-time list.
Baytan, who was named the Finals Most Valuable Player, registered a double-double with 12 points (5-9 FGA) and 13 rebounds as CKSC shot .403 (25-for-62) from the field.
Hope Christian HS, which was 7-0 going into the Finals, got 13 points (all in the second half) from Garrido and 10 from Clint Doliquez, who also grabbed eight boards. Guard Reymond Tan contributed nine points and Benemerito had eight. Newcomer Don Mendoza, who missed three perimeter shots at the height of Hope Christian’s searing fourth-quarter rally, and Villar added six points apiece.
Three HCHS men plucked down at least 12 rebounds – Villar, 15, Benemerito, 12, and Guion, 12 – as coach Stevenson Tiu’s boys won the battle of the boards, 67-38. The team, however, made just .271 (22-for-81) of its field attempts.
Regulars Villar, Benemerito, Mendoza, Garrido and Tan all have completing their TL eligibility (due to graduation or age limit).
Meanwhile, Xavier School’s Jeron Teng romped away with his league record-setting third consecutive MVP award. XS, the No. 2 seed and four-time defending titlist, lost twice to CKSC during the semifinals.
Teng was among the seven outstanding student-athletes (one from each member school) selected for MVP consideration. The others were Rodney Gonzales (host Grace Christian College), Evan Ong (St. Stephen’s High School), Garrido (Hope Christian High School), Philipp Glendale Licaros (Uno High School), Nieles (Chiang Kai Shek College) and Jason Ligad (St. Jude Catholic School).
The MVP awardees from the Aspirants Division (for players age 14 and under) and Girls High School Division will be announced later.
St. Stephen’s High School is next year’s MMTLBA host school.
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