DAVAO CITY - Ateneo de Davao University took a step closer to the finals of the 2015 Gaisano Grand Cup basketball tournament at the Gaisano SkyGym with a big win over Holy Child College of Davao in Game One of their juniors division semifinals.
Bidding to overcome Holy Child’s twice-to-beat edge, the Blue Knights turned back the Reds on Saturday, 76-69, behind the 17-point explosion by flashy forward Francis Gabriel Escandor.
Jethro Taculin and the flashy Ion Angeles added 16 and 15, respectively, to lead Ateneo’s spirited drive for a championship berth in this tournament that has produced the likes of Ginebra rookie sensation Scottie Thompson and Meralco freshman Baser Amer.
The 6-2 Escandor, one of the brightest prospects from Davao, fired five crucial points in the final period. He also scored 10 of his team’s 14 points in the second quarter as Ateneo built a six-point lead, 39-33, at halftime.
In the other semifinal duel, Assumption College of Davao also stayed in contention for a finals berth after turning back top eliminations qualifier Jose Maria College, 84-79.
Assumption needed only one win to punch a ticket to the championship of the tournament that has drawn nearly 100 competing schools all over Davao.