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Henry Liao

2nd PCYAA Basketball: Saint Jude Sweeps Jubilee, Snares Juniors Title

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Exactly 427 days after losing to Uno High School in a Juniors Division finals rubber match via an endgame collapse, redemption for Saint Jude Catholic School finally came in the 2nd Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) basketball competitions at the Uno High School Gym in Tondo, Manila.

Along with the joyful 11-0 ride, the King Judenite atoned for his so-so effort in the opener of the best-of-three finals with a scintillating performance in the series clincher to become a champion in his farewell game as a high school player.

The Judenites whitewashed Jubilee Christian Academy, 77-48, Tuesday night (February 20) in the series-clinching Game Two of their best-of-three finals to romp away with the Juniors Division crown in PCYAA Season 2.

Unlike the series opener when they struggled to register a come-from-behind 65-59 win, Coach Luis Nolasco’s troops gave up only the game’s first six points (on baskets by Lance Tan, Paolo Lim and Kurt Ang) before stepping up their swarming pressure defense and detonating a 10-0 bomb, which was built around on a twinner by SJCS meal ticket Renzel Yongco, five points by Earl See (including a triple) and a three-point play by Daniel Pua, for a 10-6 lead with 4:09 left in the first 10-minute quarter.

Saint Jude never trailed thereafter, enjoying a 19-11 advantage at one quarter’s end and a 35-25 edge at halftime as Yongco netted 13 markers, including eight (one triple) in the second period. His counterpart, speedy Paolo Lim, also chalked up 13 scores but nine (in 13 attempts) of them came from the foul line.

Whatever hopes for a comeback by JCA were squashed quickly when SJCS opened the third canto with a 16-0 blast, including two triples and 10 points from Yongco, for a commanding 51-25 edge before Ang stopped the bleeding with a trifecta for JCA with 5:40 remaining in the quarter.
A basket by Maynard Yap and a three-point play by Yongco propelled the Judenites to a 56-28 lead (double that of JCA’s tally) at the 4:39 mark.
Yongco’s 13 points helped SJCS take a 60-37 after three quarters as JCA’s top two scorers Lim and John Miko Cheng went scoreless during the stretch.

JCA came within 22, 62-40, after Lim completed a three-point play with 8:03 remaining but Yongco clustered five straight points (including his fourth and final triple) for a 67-40 edge.

The Judenites enjoyed their largest lead of 30 points twice – 75-45 and 77-47.

Yongco, one of top prospects for college ball in July, shot 11-of-22 from the field and was 5-of-5 from the foul line for 31 points along with six steals and five rebounds – a huge turnaround for the King Judenite after a sub-par Game One when he went 4-for-22 from the field and 5-for-13 from the charity stripes to get his 14 points.

See, a graduating senior like Yongco, got a pair of triples and 17 points (eight in the payoff quarter) along with seven reebies. The energetic Pua registered a double-double with 13 points and 18 rebounds and also blocked four enemy missiles. Yap totaled eight scores, nine reebies, three blocks and three steals.

Jubilee, which finished its season with a 7-4 mark for second-place honors, was led by Lim’s 17 points, eight boards, five steals and two assists. Cheng produced five steals but was held to nine markers on a 2-of-13 field clip and a 5-of-8 free-throw shooting. Like Cheng, Tan labored to secure his seven points although he was active off the glass with nine boards.

Meanwhile, defending titlist Philippine Cultural College forced a deciding Game Three in the Aspirants Division finals with a stunning 75-67 victory over erstwhile unblemished Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy Friday night (February 20).

The rubber match will be played on Sunday afternoon (February 22, 4:00 p.m.), also at the Uno HS Gym.

Following the second of two deadlocks at 17-all (the first was 15-all), PCC, which dropped a 59-57 verdict in the series opener, scored the final seven points in the first quarter to grab a 24-17 advantage. During the period, Seagulls star Michael Manansala went 4-for-6 from the field and chalked up three triples and 11 points.

PCC took the half, 36-32, on Manansala’s 13 markers as Ike Jordan Lim, the meal ticket of MGC-NLCA struggled mightily with a measly seven points – one less than Shane Tan’s eight.

MGC-NLCA came within five points, 43-38, on a Lim twinner but Manansala ended third-quarter hostilities with a basket for a 54-45 PCC lead. Manansala had his fourth triple and scored seven points during the third canto.

A Manansala steal and layup gave PCC a 70-51 lead, time down to 4:36. MGC-NLCA, however, was not done yet even if the deficit was sizeable and time was not on its side. Down 72-53, the boys of coaches Wilson Ngo and James Sia went on an 8-0 binge to come within 11, 72-61, with 1:35 left. Burly Anson Tan subsequently got free inside and knocked in a basket that sealed PCC’s victory.

Manansala, who along with Lim and Jubilee Christian Academy’s Kyle Barraza has scored in double figures in all of his games in the tournament, finished with 29 points for PCC (9-2) on an efficient 11-for-18 field shooting. Three of his teammates scored 10 apiece – Rafael Pangilinan, Anson Tan (plus 15 rebounds) and Bryan Gadingan.

MGC-NLCA, which lost for the first time in 11 assignments, got 18 points from Shane Tan, 17 (including two triples) from Aaron Sy, 13 from Lim (who shot 5-of-17 from the field, none from his favorite bonus-point territory), and 10 from Aldrico Dy.
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