Hope Christian HS gains Tiong Lian finals
MANILA, Philippines—Hope Christian High School routed St. Jude Catholic School, 89-64, to barge into the finals of the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTBA) tournament for the second straight year Monday at the Uno High School gym.
Like the first time they clashed in the eliminations, the top-seeded Hope Christian cagers settled the issue as early as the third quarter when they zoomed to a 72-43 advantage behind Don Mendoza, King Benemerito and Clint Dolinguez.
Dolinguez scattered a team-high 15 points while John Apacible and Benemerito chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively, as Hope Christian extended its winning streak to seven dating back to the eliminations of the tournament presented by Regan Industrials Sales Inc. and World Balance.
Hope Christian battles either 14-time champion Chiang Kai Shek College or four-time defending champion Xavier School in the finals—a best-of-three affair—starting Monday. Chiang Kai Shek College and Xavier were disputing the last finals berth at presstime.
The Blue Dragons, who finished the elims at No. 3, forced a knockout match in their own semis series with the No. 2 seed Golden Stallions by eking out an 83-76 victory in the event also backed by Uratex, Burlington, Summit Drinking Water, 100 Plus, Supreme Steel Pipe, Superior Pipe, Ace Water Spa and Molten.
John Kevin Baytan finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and two steals in 38 minutes of action aside from helping limit the production of Xavier star Jeron Teng to just 22 points.
In the Aspirants division, Chiang Kai Shek College also forced a knockout match with Xavier after scoring a 112-71 win in Game 2 of their best-of-three title series. Game 3 is scheduled today.
In the Girls division, defending champion St. Jude Catholic School prevented CKSC from sweeping their own title series by registering a thrilling 63-60 win in Game 2.