HOPE CHRISTIAN limited defending champion Xavier to only seven points in the second quarter to post a 74-66 win in Game One of the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association (MMTLBA) championship series Thursday night at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym.
Jollo Go had 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting from three-point range, while John Apacible grabbed 19 rebounds for Hope Christian, which eyes a sweep of the best-of-three series when Game 2 is played Monday.
Hope Christian was runner-up in the league last season.
Blue-chip high school prospect Kyles Lao was the lone bright spot for Xavier with 33 points – the lone double digit scorer for the team.
Apacible’s rebounding highlighted Hope Christian’s domination of the boards, 52-31. Jobert Mercado and Arjan Cruz, who had 13 and 10 points respectively, each had nine rebounds.
Xavier held a 21-20 lead at the end of the first period, but Hope Christian went on a 10-0 blast to start the second.
After trailing 28-42 at the half, Xavier tried to come back and pulled within seven points entering the fourth, 57-51, but Hope Christian held sway for the win.