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ECA, AMA forge BBI finals duel

MANILA, Philippines — The Goliaths were felled by the Davids.
 
English Christian Academy knocked out University of the Philippines Integrated School’s UAAP squad, 72-62, while AMA Computer College crushed La Salle Greenhills (Team B), 76-59, last September 23 and 24, respectively, in the semifinals of the Under-19 Division of the Breakdown Basketball Invitationals at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in Quezon City.
 
Tiny-English Christian Academy in Antipolo with a school population not even half of UPIS battled the Junior Fighting Maroons tooth and nail and through eight lead changes.
 
UPIS led 57-52 after a triple by Ralph Labao to start the fourth period, but ECA’s Wilbert Lauzon answered with back-to-back triples that ignited an 11-0 run that gave the White Eagles the lead for good.
 
UPIS tried to mount a comeback behind senior point guard Jaggie Gregorio but with the Junior Fighting Maroons veterans Joselle Tupaz, Enrique Estrera and Labao struggling with a bad shooting day all match long, the rally fell short. 
 
The White Eagles, the reigning Southern Tagalog Calabarzon Athletic Association champions, had their revenge on UPIS after the latter defeated them in the elimination round, 94-88. This time around they arranged a championship duel with AMA Computer College that defeated erstwhile league leader La Salle Greenhills. 
 
Point guard Anson Boje and Lauzon led ECA with 11 points each while Bryan Lina topscored for UPIS with 18 points.
 
“We were motivated for this game,” said ECA head coach Ramil Jornacion. “Our game plan was to contain their shooters in Gregorio and Labao and to control the middle which we did with Marse Rovi Velasco blocking three shots and changing UPIS’ shots inside. When UPIS made their run, I told the boys to settle down and to continue to speed up the game which is our pace.”
 
In the other U-19 semis, the AMA Computer College Junior Titans seized the lead from the get-go and never allowed LSGH a chance to taste the lead. AMA with Carlo Garcia showing the way with a game high 32 points led by as much as 21 points.
 
It was a sorry loss for the Junior Archers, who lost several matches in the eliminations in the final minute of play. John Natividad led LSGH with 19 points.
 
The finals of the Under-19 Division between ECA and AMA will be next weekend at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center.
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