|Posted on February 20, 2011 at 10:12 AM|
JUNIORS DIVISION FINALS GAME THREE
February 22, 2011
Something has to give when the three-time defending champion Xavier School and upset-conscious Hope Christian High School face each other on Tuesday, February 22, in the winner-take-all Game Three of Juniors Division Finals of the 41st Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association tournament at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym.
Will it be Destiny? Or will it be Dynasty?
Will it be an unprecedented fourth consecutive title for Xavier School? Or will it be a Cinderella-like finish for Hope Christian High School, which last captured the Tiong Lian crown in 1993?
Decision Day has come.
The two teams split the first two games of the best-of-three championship series in the Juniors Division.
In the series opener, Hope Christian defeated Xavier School, 93-82, to eclipse the Golden Stallions’ 32-game winning streak over four seasons.
Cat-quick guard Janrey Garrido knocked in five three-pointers and scored a team-high 22 points.
Hope Christian’s Triple Towers – Jessiery Pedrosa, King Benemerito and Christian Errol Villar – dominated their Xavier School counterparts, combining for 49 points and 37 rebounds as Coach Steve Tiu’s boys won the rebounding race, 56-42, and overcame the 45-point, 16-rebound effort of Philippine Youth Team member Jeron Teng for Xavier School.
In Game Two, Xavier School got off to a 14-0 start and led from start to finish in demolishing Hope Christian High, 104-76.
In a show of balanced offensive power and defensive tenacity, 12 players scored at least two points for Xavier School, including four guys in double figures, and the Golden Stallions held big men Christian Errol Villar and King Benemerito scoreless in the first half.
Wearing a “Let’s Fight Back Together” tee-shirt during the game, Coach Budds Reyes devised a physical, aggressive defense that derailed Hope Christian guards’ entry passes to their big men, thereby limiting their effectiveness inside the paint.
Pedrosa got his 17 points but Villar (two) and Benemerito (seven) totaled only nine markers as the trio combined to shoot a horrible 9-for-29 from the field.
Hope Christian also shot a porous 21-for-42 from the free-throw line, committed more turnovers, 25-12, and allowed to Xavier School to pick up 13 steals.
Only Garrido kept Hope Christian afloat with four triples and a team-best 22 points.
Jeron Teng collected 37 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocked shots for Xavier School and team skipper Bryan Tan and Kyles Lao each contributed 14 points.
Now the stage is set for the deciding third game.
Who will walk away with this year’s Tiong Lian championship hardware?
Will it be Xavier School for the fourth year in a row? Or will it be Hope Christian High School for the first time in 18 years?
It’s Game Three of the Tiong Lian Juniors Division Finals.