One game for all the marbles as Xavier School battles San Beda in PSSBC Ironcon Builders Cup final

XAVIER School hopes to complete a Cinderella story when the Golden Stallions collide with the San Beda College Red Cubs in the one-game faceoff for the 3rd Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship Ironcon Builders Cup title at the Chiang Kai Shek College in Manila.

The Stallions dispatched champion teams Chiang Kai Shek College and National University one after another to arrange a title showdown with the Red Cubs.

Gametime is set at 2:30 p.m.

Aside from the sweet-shooting Tyler Tio, the Carlo Tan-mentored Xavier can also count on Kyle Ong and Ralph Cu whose triples late in the game helped the Stallions beat the reigning UAAP champions NU Bullpups, 79-75.

Tan knows beating an established team like San Beda entails an extraordinary effort, but he’s confident his wards are up to the task.

Xavier, on the other hand, is hoping to become the second Fil-Chinese school to the win the event after Hope Christian High School won the inaugural tournament in 2012.

San Beda is also on a mission.

The Red Cubs, who reached the finals after downing the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws, 61-57, are aching to redeem themselves after losing to the San Sebastian Staglets in triple overtime, 108-102, last year.

Not only that. San Beda is as determined to embellish its status after becoming the winningest NCAA team last month. They outlasted the Mapua Red Robins to win their 21st title in the country’s oldest collegiate league.

Out to lead San Beda’s are the quintet of Niko Abatayo, Sam Abuhijleh, Norrish Decapia, Chami Diputado and Andrei Caracut.

Meantime, the Baby Tamaraws and the Bullpups clash for third at 1 p.m. in the tournament also sponsored by Freego, Dickies Underwear, Rain or Shine, Hapee Toothpaste, Blackwater-Ever Bilena, MEC Computers and Jumbo Plastic Linoleum.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph