DAVAO CITY—Ateneo de Davao University leaned on shifty forward Francis Escandor down the stretch to turn back league-leading Holy Child College of Davao, 77–72, in the 13th Gaisano Grand Cup at the Gaisano Sky Gym on Sunday.
The 6-1 Escandor, who joined the San Beda Red Lions in training camp in Las Vegas during the NCAA offseason, came through with another big game for the Blue Knights, firing 20 points including 11 in the crucial stretches of the fourth period.
Lawrence Angeles scored a game-high 22 points for Ateneo, which improved to 4– 1 record.
The win also put an end to Holy Child’s five game winning run and kept alive Ateneo’s aspiration of a twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four of the Junior Division 1 class.
Joshua Reyes and Arnold Heje paced defending champion Holy Child with 15 points each.
The Blue Knights will face winless Agro Industrial Foundation College on November 21 and wrap up its elimination round assignment against Ford Academy on November 22 in Davao's biggest school-based league.
Despite the loss, Holy Child remained on top of the standings in a tie at 5-1 with Jose Maria College, who beat Assumption College of Davao, 65-58.
Ateneo climbed to third going into the final weekend of eliminations.