PEPPERY Fran Yu came through with clutch plays down the stretch as Chiang Kai Shek College stunned Ateneo, 87-77, to rule the 1st Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Cup held over the weekend at the Enderun Colleges gym in Taguig City.
With the 5-foot7 Yu at the helm, the Blue Dragons exploded for 14 points while holding the Eaglets to just four in the last three minutes to add the tournament to their growing list of titles.
JV Gallego led Chiang Kai Shek College with 22 points but it was Yu who delivered the shots that mattered most for the Blue Dragons.
Powered by Philippine team Under-17 standouts Jolo Mendoza and Mike Nieto, Ateneo came into the game emboldened by an eight-game winning run, including a 71-67 win over the Blue Dragons on opening day and an impressive 83-80 come-from-behind victory over the Adamson Falcons in the semis.
But this time the Blue Dragons were not to be denied.
Aside from his crafty plays that resulted to a game-high six assists and seven rebounds, Yu knocked down 21 markers, including a completed steal that gave the Blue Dragons a 76-73 lead.
A completed three-point play by Jonas Tibayan dashed any hope of an Ateneo comeback as the Blue Dragons surged to an 80-73 lead with less a minute left.
Also shining for Chiang Kai Shek College, coached by Goldwyn Monteverde, was Shannon Gagate who chipped in 15 points while Tibayan tallied 11.
Jumbo Plastic Linoleum top executive Jefferson dela Cruz helped award the championship trophy to the Blue Dragons in the tournament also sponsored by by Smart Telecommunications, K-tech Sports, Inc., Powerbest Marketing, CW Home Depot, Powerhouse, and Dickies Underwear.
The title win cemented CKSC’s status as one of the country’s most successful high school teams. It won three major titles last year, including the Milo National Finals.
Meantime, Far Eastern University defeated Adamson, 70-65 to finish third.
Mendoza was held to just 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting, including 0-of-3 from the 3-point territory.
Nieto paced the Eaglets with 19 points and 16 boards.