SOLID San Juan completed a comeback from 11 points down to stun heavy favorite Octagon, 77-71, and claim the Metro League 13-and-under boys basketball tournament championship on Sunday morning at the San Juan Gym.
Staring at a 49-60 deficit early in the payoff period, the determined La Salle Greenhills-backed squad launched a blistering 22-9 blast capped by a Zio Hizon transition layup to snatch the driver seat, 71-69, with only 2:01 to go.
San Juan finisned with a 6-2 flurry highlighted by a monster triple by Janeil Peralta and Hizon’s free throw to seal the win in the tournament backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) with Barangay 143 as league presentor.
Hizon finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two assists while Michael Zion Cortez, son of Blackwater Elite PBA player Mike, and Peralta added 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
Tournament MVP Bryan Andrei Hachuela was also instrumental with 14 points, seven boards and four blocks in San Juan’s breakthrough championship in the M-League for 13-and-under cagers also bankrolled by Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation as major sponsors.
Hachuela, who was hailed as Best Player of the Game in seven games this season, inclusive of the Finals, logged averages of 12.0 points and 9.8 rebounds for San Juan.
A double-double by Miguel Geof Lopez who had 15 points and 17 rebounds went down the drain for AMA Online Education-backed Octagon.
Hachuela was joined by Kyn Meneses Vicente (Octagon), Manuel Dabao (Muntinlupa), Vince Richard Hagos (Caloocan) and Neil Joaquin Abequibal (Makati) in the Mythical Five.
Solid San Juan 77 – Hachuela 14, Cortez 11, Z. Hizon 10, Peralta 10, Gomez 8, Muyuela 7, Jugo 6, Romero 4, Atienza 4, Villavicencio 3, Maravilla 0, Natividad 0, J. Hizon 0, Alian 0, Torres 0.
Octagon 71 – Lopez 15, Ebdane 15, Arejola 9, Valdeavilla 8, Prado 4, Galindez 3, Manalad 3, Kua 3, Maneja 2, Sison 2, Herrera 2, Padolina 2, Tan 2, Vicente 1, Timbol 0.
Quarterscores: 25-18, 38-34, 58-49, 77-71