|The Chiang Kai Shek College Blue Dragons|
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Chiang Kai Shek College and NU to dispute Seaoil NBTC Championship
by rick olivares
After three days of intense knockout basketball among 12 champion high schools from all over the country, two Metro Manila schools will be facing each other for the Division One championship of the Seaoil National Basketball Training Center League on Sunday, March 9 at the Ynares Center in Pasig City.
Chiang Kai Shek College and National University, Seaoil Metro Manila Basketball League and University Athletics Association of the Philippines champions respectively dispatched Hua Siong College of Iloilo, 74-52, and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, 87-73, in high school basketball’s version of the Champions League.
Both teams used huge third period spurts to blow open a close game.
The Chiang Kai Shek Blue Dragons led 42-36 with six minutes and 14 seconds gone by in the third period when Iloilo center Dario Burri went to the bench with his fourth foul. Without the high-leaping but undersized slotman, CKSC dropped a crippling 15-6 windup to take a commanding 57-40 lead after 30 minutes of play.
Chiang Kai Shek College posted as much as a 25-point lead with 24 seconds left to play, 74-49.
CKSC power forward Meds Salim and shooting guard JV Gallego paced their team with 22 and 21 points respectively.
The Bullpups taught two-time Seaoil NBTC champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles a lesson in dominance inside the shaded lane with big men John Paul Cauilan, Mark Dyke, Thurlough Grealy, and Carlos Lopeña manhandling their Cebuano counterparts that seemed content to bombard from the outside.
Kicking off their third quarter blitz, NU scored 17 of their 21 third period points inside the paint to hike a 43-38 halftime lead to a 64-49 bulge.
With Magis Eagles center Arnie Padilla (15 points) on the bench due to foul trouble, it was up to forward Felixberto Jaboneta to battle NU’s bigs inside. Jaboneta tried his best to take the fight to NU as he scored seven consecutive points for his team but the Bullpups stepped on the gas to post a game high 21-point lead after point guard Hubert Cani scored on a teardrop, 81-60, with five minutes to play.
NU coasted the rest of the way to set up the finals battle with CKSC who knocked them out of the semifinals of the recently concluded Seaoil Metro Manila Basketball League championship.
The Bullpups saw five players score in double figures. They were led by Cani and Cauilan who scored 16 and 15 points respectively.
Jeff Napa, NU head coach, waxed sentimental about the last high school basketball title up for grabs this school year. “Proud ako sa team kasi kahit puyat sila dahil sa Juniors-Seniors Prom kagabi, pinakita nila na gusto nila manalo. Last na namin ‘to bago kami mag-kanya kanya. So we will try to enjoy it. At sana makabawi sa Chiang Kai Shek.”
His CKSC counterpart, Coach Goldwyn Monteverde, expressed happiness that his team has kept on rolling this year. “This means a lot to the school kasi naisusukli namin yung support nila. My players work very very hard and bilang coach, masarap na feeling na yung lahat ng sacrifices and hard work namin ay nag-pay off.”
In addition to being MMBL champions, the Blue Dragons also won the Filipino Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation at the expense of Tiong Lian rival Hope Christian High School last August. Should The Seaoil NBTC League championship, it will be a grand slam of sorts for the school.
The battle for the Seaoil NBTC League title will be at 10am followed by the third Seaoil NBTC High School All-Star Game at 12 noon at the Ynares Center.