Mindanao-based HTC Wildcats dominate a La Salle side without its top players
Holy Trinity's Louie Omaldi goes for a drive against La Salle. Clems Dela Cruz

HOLY Trinity College opened the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Elite Eight on a high note by beating De La Salle, 75-69, on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Joseph Diamante and Leomerk Salas delivered for the Wildcats in a dominant performance against a Green Archers side that tapped mostly Team B players to represent it in the tournament.

Diamante scored 21 points while Salas had 20 points on 3-of-4 shooting from three-point range for the Wildcats, who went on a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to turn around a game where they  trailed by nine, 57-48.

The Wildcats took the lead for good after back-to-back baskets by Diamante and a jumper by Salas, 66-61.

“At least, panalo kami sa Manila team kahit Team B ‘yung La Salle,” said HTC coach Pol Torrijos.

"Magandang experience ito sa mga bata. Hindi pa siguro lumalabas laro nila kasi first game jitters. First time kami sa Manila.”

Everby Dialogo had 10 points and 11 rebounds for HTC, which qualified for the PCCL by topping the Mindanao eliminations.

Abu Tratter is the lone player from the La Salle team that reached the UAAP Season 80 finals that was included in the PCCL lineup, but his chance of playing is probable at best.

Antonio Miguel Yang had 21 points and eight rebounds, while Renzel Yongco had 16 points for the Green Archers. Ralph Cu contributed 13 rebounds.

The scores:

HTC 75 – Diamante 21, Salas 20, Dialogo 10, Poral 9, Omaldi 5, Cortez 4, Cosip 4, Takabil 2, Akad 0, Garcia 0, Bacalso 0.

DLSU 69 – Yang 21, Yongco 16, Alcala 14, Lapena 7, Tan 5, Cu 5, Thadeo 1, Herrera 0.

Quarterscores: 12-15; 30-26; 48-52; 75-69.

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