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Henry Liao

2nd PCYAA Ladies Division: Uno Belles Complete Perfect Season

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Host Uno High School pulverized Saint Jude, 81-22, Saturday morning (February 14) in the Ladies Division finals of the 2nd Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) basketball competitions at the Uno High School Gym in Tondo, Manila to secure the championship and complete a perfect 11-0 season.

The Lady Uneans, who needed only to beat the Lady Judenites to capture the Girls High School crown by virtue of their frontrunning 10-0 ledger during the double-round elimination phase, raced to a 30-2 lead after the first 10-minute quarter and never looked back.

Uno was ahead, 50-7, at halftime and entered the fourth canto with an insurmountable 73-16 advantage.

Four belles scored in double digits for UHS – Gianelle Nerys Taguibao, 27 points; Vivian Chua, 16; Gelsey Nikka Taguibao, 11; and Jodie Erika Yu, 10. Roxyanne Paulizette Liao added six points for the winning team.

Saint Jude was bannered by Janelle Abigail Co and Alyssa Louise Tan, who each tallied six points. The Judenites had earlier beaten Jubilee Christian Academy, 57-51, in a playoff to claim the second finals berth.
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2nd PCYAA Aspirants: Top 4 Seeds Enter Semis
By Henry L. Liao

And then there were four.

The top four seeds in the PCYAA Aspirants Division advanced to the Final Four after making short work of their quarterfinal opponents Saturday afternoon (February 14).

Armed with twice-to-beat advantages in the quarter finals, unbeaten and top-seeded Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy clobbered winless and No. 8-seeded Saint Peter the Apostle School, 74-33; No. 2 seed and defending champion Philippine Cultural College knocked off No. 7 seed Grace Christian College, 79-50; No. 3 seed Saint Jude Catholic School ousted No. 6 seed Uno High School, 56-41; and No. 4 seed Jubilee Christian Academy downed No. 5 seed Pace Academy, 63-59.

Five players scored at least eight points for MGC-NLCA – Aldrico Dy, 10; Joshua Uang, 9; Darren Lim, 9; Pierre Dino, 8; and McNeil Si, 8. Ike Jordan Li, the team’s scoring leader with a tournament second-best 23.3-point average, showed up for the game but was kept on the bench.
Jherome Siy topscored for SPAS with 11 markers.

Philippine Cultural College, the reigning titlist in the Aspi Division for players age 13 and under, had a grand time against Grace Christian College after a close first quarter where the Seagulls were up by just one point, 14-13. It outscored GCC, 23-12, in the second period to grab a 37-25 lead at the half and then bamboozled its rival, 25-13, in the third to take a commanding 62-38 advantage as PCC hotshot Michael Manansala netted 10 of his game-high 18 points during the stretch.

PCC, whose only loss so far have come at the hands of MGC-NLCA, produced two other double-digit scorers besides Manansala – Rico Wu, 12; and Art Tong 10 (including a pair of triples). Romar Lee contributed nine points and Rafael Pangilinan and Bryan Gadingan each chalked up eight.

For Grace Christian, Michael Claver was highest point-producer with 12. Marcus Nathan Lu, the third-leading scorer in the tournament with 17.6-point clip, was held to nine.

Saint Jude was pushed to the limit by Uno High School, owning just a three-point lead , 44-41, with four minutes left before it scored the game’s final 12 points built around Josiah Filipino’s five points (two free throws and a triple), a Kiefe Chu fielder, a Winston Ongchan triple and a Martin Ang basket to finish off the Uneans.

Ongchan finished with 13 points (11 of them in the second half) for the Judenites. Filipino was also in double figures with `11 points (two triples and eight points in the final 4:15). Chu contributed nine markers and Kevin Dela Cruz had eight (including two three-pointers).

Justin Matthew Vistan and Warren Tan chalked up 14 and 13 points, respectively for Uno. Vistan nailed four triples.

Jubilee Christian Academy walked the tightrope before squeezing past a hard-fighting Pace Academy outfit. The Pacers were up by nine points, 23-14, after Dean Ong opened the second quarter with a basket.

But JCA put together a 12-0 run, spiked by an eight-point blast by Kyle Nathan Barraza, to grab the lead for the first time, 24-21.
Halftime score was 29-all and JCA was up by one, 43-42, at the end of the third period on a Barraza twinner.

Pace last led at 50-48 on Ong’s two freebies with 5:24 left. Ong knocked in a banking three-ball with 8.7 ticks remaining as the Pacers trimmed their deficit to two, 61-59. However, Barraza sealed the deal with two charity shots with 7.6 seconds left on the game clock.

Barraza wound up with 32 points (on 12-for-29 field shooting) and 20 rebounds. Barraza, who leads the tournament in scoring at a 26.8-point clip, is the first player to achieve a 30-20 feat in the entire PCYAA competitions (including the Juniors Division and ladies Division) this season.

Barraza’s teammate Janaro Bautista also produced a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards. Miko Lim added nine points and grabbed six reebies.

Pace got 20 points and eight rebounds from Ong, four triples and 16 points from Jansen King, and 13 points and four steals from Jeff Lugay.

The semifinals will be held on Monday, February 16, with MGC-NLCA taking on Jubilee Christian Academy at 5:30 p.m. and Philippine Cultural College clashing with Saint Jude Catholic School at 7:00 p.m.

MGC-NLCA and PCC, by virtue of their high rankings, will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage over their respective opponents.

Should there be rubber matches (meaning one or two of the lower-seeded teams emerge victorious on Monday), they would be held on Tuesday, February 17 (4:00 p.m./5:30 p.m.).

The best-of-three Aspi Finals will get underway on Wednesday, February 18 (5:30 p.m.). Game Two is slated for Friday, February 20 (5:30 p.m.).

If necessary, a third game will be held on Sunday, February 22 (4:00 p.m.).
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