IT CAME as no surprise when Hope Christian High School won the 43rd Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association-BonChon Chicken Juniors Championship.
After strengthening its basketball program in 2009 through the massive support of its generous alumni, including Hapee Toothpaste owner Dr. Cecilio Pedro, Hope Christian was expected to dominate the most prestigious Filipino-Chinese high school league in the country.
Last Thursday, Hope Christian defeated Xavier School, 62-55, thus ending 20 years of futility.
“It was worth waiting, this championship is very sweet,” said team manager Bernard Yang.
It was the third title in six months for Hope Christian after ruling the Fr. Martin’s Cup last September and the inaugural staging of the Philippine Secondary School Basketball Championship (PSSBC) in December.
Yang and coach Stevenson Tiu hope the title win could be the start of something big for the school, which has the strong backing from Hapee, Jumbo Plastic owner Jimmy dela Cruz, Infinite Graphix, Oceanic Terminal Inc., Amazon Inc., Fruitas, Anta and Hope Christian HS Board of Directors.
One reason why both Yang and Tiu are upbeat is because 9 of their present lineup, including Finals MVP John Apacible, will be back next year.
“With the support of our alumni, we’ll try to form a very competitive team every year,” said Tiu, who will also field prospect Kirk Trangia.