MULTI-titled Xavier School closed out its first-round campaign in grand style by dumping host St. Stephen’s High School, 94-52, in the 43rd Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association-BonChon Chicken Championship at the CKSC gym in Manila.
Led by Kyles Lao, the Golden Stallions came out with guns ablaze in the second half to turn a slim 35-26 lead into a 66-42 bubble before finally settling the issue with another vicious run early in the payoff period and finish the first round elims with a 4-1 record.
The host squad slipped to 2-3 in the six-team tournament.
The 6-foot Lao was almost unstoppable as he exploded for a tournament-high 38 points on an impressive 17-of-26 shooting from the field. He also had six rebounds, five steals, three assists, and a block shot.
Tyler Tio chipped in 14 markers, while Paolo Susmerano and Anton Lapez combined for 23 points as the Stallions hardly felt the absence of Jarell Lim, the team’s No. 2 scorer, due to a sore left knee.
In the other game, St. Jude Catholic School finally barged into the win column by pulling off a 68-60 win over Grace Christian College, thanks largely to Franchis Go and Earl See, who scored 18 points each.
Meantime, defending champion Chiang Kai Shek College guns for a sixth straight win when it starts its second-round campaign against Hope Christian High School on Saturday.