XAVIER School stunned UAAP champion Far Eastern University-Diliman, 75-74, to lead the march of the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA) teams to the quarterfinals of the 1st Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) Saturday at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym in Manila.
Jarrell Lim starred in the stunning win as he completed a coast-to-coast drive in the final four seconds to notch the Golden Stallions’ second straight win in three games and hand the Baby Tamaraws their second defeat in Group A despite the 22-point performance of UAAP two-time MVP Jerie Pingoy.
As expected, Kyles Lao led the multi-titled Xavier team with 35 points to boost his bid of winning the scoring honors in the tournament designed to give high school players, especially the seniors, more exposure before heading to college.
Lim finished with 12 points, while former PH Under-18 member Isaac Go contributed 9 markers and 16 boards.
Not to be left out, reigning MMTLBA champion Chiang Kai Shek College and runner-up Hope Christian High School also bested their respective rivals to likewise advance into the quarterfinals of the event sponsored by MEC Networks, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Blackwater Sports, Wrangler, Welcoat House Paints, Ironcon Builders, Dickies Underwear and Hapee Toothpaste.
Drawing 34 points from Clint Doliquez, Hope Christian outlasted the Letran Squires, 70-64, in Group B, while the Blue Dragons rallied furiously behind the hot hands of Jeremy Gallemit, Joshua Tan, Kimlee Bayquin and Wilson Bartolome to oust the Thirdy Ravena-led Ateneo Eaglets, 76-74, in Group A.
The victories of the Tiong Lian teams overshadowed the 84-56 drubbing of NCAA titlist San Beda College over University of Santo Tomas, a win that enabled the Red Cubs to complete a four-game sweep of Group B.
By dropping their third straight game, the Eaglets were first the team to be eliminated in the 10-team tournament, even as the last quarterfinal slot will be disputed by Letran and National University on Sunday. Both NU and Letran are winless in three games.