Heavy 4-game bill fires off Battle of Champs HS caging
TWO high school teams fresh off perfect championship romps pose a challenge to Hope Christian’s title defense when the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) fires off today at Chiang Kai Shek College gym in Manila.
National University, which won all its 16 games to capture the UAAP juniors basketball crown, has been tagged as favorite along with San Beda, which also had an amazing 20-game title run in the NCAA juniors.
“Everybody is out to beat and unseat us, but we’ll be ready for them,” said Hope Christian team manager Bernard Yang, who represented coach Stevenson Tiu during the coaches’ meeting last Wednesday.
Hope Christian, which downed San Sebastian in last year’s finals, kicks off its bid against Jose Rizal University at 12 noon.
San Sebastian and Chiang Kai Shek College tangle at 9 a.m., followed by the 10:30 a.m. battle between Ateneo and St. Stephen.
NU takes on Xavier School at 1:30 p.m. to cap the heavy four-game bill.
San Beda, Mapua and De La Salle Zobel drew a bye on the first day of the 11-team tournament which offers a prize of P50,000 to the champion.
“Hope Christian remains formidable but other teams like NU, San Beda and Ateneo are also strong,” said tournament chair Dioceldo Sy as the league recently forged a TV contract with GMA. “You also can’t belittle teams from Tiong Lian like Xavier and Chiang Kai Shek.”
Chito Loyzaga, a former commissioner of the Philippine Sports Commission and an ex-PBA star with Ginebra, will lead the sports personalities in the opening rite. Jasmine W. Payo
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