The Colegio De San Benildo Golden Wolves pose with their championship medals and trophy.
San Benildo upsets Xavier to bag Filoil 11-U crown
Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - June 24, 2019 - 10:38am

MANILA, Philippines – The Colegio De San Benildo Blazing Wolves opened Championship Sunday of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup with a stunning upset over the undefeated and highly fancied Xavier Golden Stallions, 41-39.

Charles Canaria buried a wide-open jumper from the right baseline with 1.1 seconds left in a come-from-behind victory. Xavier wasn’t able to get a shot off in the remaining time as San Benildo dealt Xavier its only loss in 10 matches.

Xavier led 24-18 after the end of the first half. But San Benildo tightened its defense and forced Golden Stallions point guard Andrew Chio into five turnovers in the third period alone. 

By third frame’s end, San Benildo held Xavier to only four points — their lowest in any quarter all tournament long, and led, 29-28.

Both squads battled to 35-all after Wesley Yu scored on an undergoal stab off a Hans Go drop pass, time down to 3:16.

Xavier looked to have a lock on the game when they led, 39-35, after two consecutive baskets by Go and Rambert Lagar, 2:24 left.

After a missed Golden Stallions’ shot, San Benildo went on the fastbreak with James Macale scoring on an and-one against Go, 39-37. Macale missed his bonus free throw but Jyrus De Villa was able to grab the offensive rebound and throw in an off-balanced shot to tie the match for the last time, at 39-all, time down to 1:34. 

After both teams traded possessions, Xavier’s Chio had a chance to win the game, but he held on to the ball a bit too long and by the time he took a shot, not only was it a short, but the shot also expired, giving San Benildo a chance to win it with 8.2 seconds left.

With San Benildo’s Macale serving as a decoy and drawing a double team, Canaria found himself wide open, and he buried the shot that sent the Rizal-based squad’s supporters in a frenzy. 

When time expired in Lagar’s hands, the San Benildo crowd broke out in jubilation.

Said Wolves head coach Angelo De Guzman, “This is an incredible win for us. The boys have really done their best despite the odds of a taller and talented Xavier team. And to think we don’t even have a proper court as we are a small school. We train in an open air cement court. So, this is good for the team and the school.”

Canaria simply nodded when he was asked if he was nervous when he took that last second shot. “I am happy,” he simply put.

Macale was named Most Valuable Player for the 11-Under Division as he led San Benildo to the title and 19 points and 12 rebounds (including four blocks and three assists) in the championship game.

Lagar and Yu each scored nine points to lead Xavier.

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