SHS-Ateneo wins Visayas SBP title
Rico Navarro (The Freeman) - October 9, 2017 - 4:00pm

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — After seven years, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu is going back to the national finals of the SBP Passerelle Twin Tournament backed by Milo.

They earned the trip after defeating St. John’s Institute, 53-47, to bag the championship of the SBP division at the Visayas Regional Finals held at the Iloilo Sports Complex over the weekend.

Hua Siong College of Iloilo won the Passerelle division championship after scraping past Bacolod Tay Tung High School, 57-53, and will also make the trip to the national finals.

Working with a game plan not make the game close, the Magis Eagles started out hot, going to Kristian Michael Porter’s 11 first quarter points for an 18-6 lead after the first period. The lead stretched to 30-14 at halftime as Jared Bahay took over and scored all 12 points of the team in the quarter.

St. John’s recovered in the third quarter, slashing the deficit to seven points at 34-27 before Dylan Jared Lim closed out the quarter with four straight points for some breathing room, 38-27 by the end of the third quarter. The Bacolod champions came close again, 38-30, at the start of the fourth quarter, but Porter, Bahay, Vince Suico and Joash Cutamora combined for a 13-2 run to build their biggest lead at 51-32 with four minutes left in the game. SHS-Ateneo had a reply for every rally of St. John’s and never let them back into the game.

Porter led SHS-Ateneo with 19 points while Bahay had 14. Dylan Despi led St. John’s with 12 points, including three triples in the fourth quarter rally.

SHS-Ateneo now plays in the national finals which will be held in Cebu December 2 to 3. Their last trip to the national finals was in 2010 which Cebu also hosted.

In the game for third place in the SBP division, Hua Siong College of Iloilo tripped St. Mary’s Academy of Capiz, 52-37.

In the Passerelle division title game, Hua Siong built a comfortable lead, nearly squandered this before recovering just in time to oust the defending champions.

Hua Siong built a 44-33 lead after three quarters, coming from 18-15 and 28-25 leads after the first two periods.

But the defending champions Tay Tung went to Harold Alarcon who had nine points in a fourth quarter rally to slice the lead to just one, 54-53 with 28 seconds left in the game.

Tay Tung had three chances to take the lead, but John Mercado missed a triple while Alarcon missed on a drive and a pull-up jumper.

Mico Exaltado then split his charities to give Hua Siong a 55-53 lead with five seconds left. After a Tay Tung time-out, Exaltado capped his heroics by stealing the inbound pass to ice the game with a lay-up as time expired.

Exaltado led Hua Siong with 13 points while Jaspher Antijendra added ten. Alarcon led Tay Tung with 18.

The University of San Carlos salvaged third place in the Passerelle division as they tripped HERCOR College of Roxas, 45-26.

The 32nd SBP Passerelle Twin Tournament, also supported by Rain or Shine and Chris Sports, now has two sets of regional champions for the national finals. La Salle Greenhills won the SBP division championship of the Metro Manila leg, while San Beda bagged the Passerelle division championship. The next regional finals will be played in Luzon and Mindanao. (FREEMAN)

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