CHIANG Kai Shek defeated Hope Christian High School, 82-75, on Sunday in an all-Tiong Lian affair to claim the Seaoil-Metro Manila Basketball League crown at the San Beda gym.
Med Salim had 24 points and conspired with Van Pilanga in a 10-3 finish by the Blue Dragons to finally pull away in a tightly-contested affair.
With the win, Chiang Kai Shek earned the right to represent Metro Manila in the Seaoil National Basketball Championship where champion teams from different regions in the country will converge.
It was a sweet victory for the Blue Dragons, who won in the midst of the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA) decision to forego its 44th season this year due to unresolved issues within the Filipino-Chinese basketball league.
Hope Christian High School was supposed to defend its Tiong Lian title this year.
“Para na rin itong Tiong Lian,” said a jubilant Chiang Kai Shek coach Goldwin Monteverde. “It was nice na nag-work lahat ng pinaghirapan namin.”
The Blue Dragons were up by five, 69-64, when Jollo Go tied the match for Hope Christian at 72 with 3:33 left in the game.
Salim hit two free throws and a layup before Pilanga hit a huge triple with 1:05 left for an 81-72 lead.
Memet Ascano had 13 points while JV Gallego added 10 points for Chiang Kai Shek.
Go added 24 points for Hope Christian, while Ateneo-bound John Apacible added 17. Arjon Dela Cruz finished with 13 markers.