MULTI-titled Xavier School romped off to a 96-52 win over host St. Stephen’s High School and grabbed the solo lead in the 43rd Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association-BonChon Chicken Championship Tuesday at the CKSC gym in Manila.
It was the fourth straight and 6th overall victory for the Golden Stallions in seven games to overtake reigning champion Hope Christian High School entering the crucial stage of the double-round eliminations.
Other than that, the morale-boosting win gives the Stallions a truck load of confidence when they clash with last year’s losing finalist Hope Christian High School in their all-important showdown on Saturday.
A Xavier victory will eliminate Hope Christian from title contention and paves the way for another chapter in their colorful rivalry with Chiang Kai Shek, which currently occupies second place with a 5-1 card in the six-team tournament.
In the other game, St. Jude Catholic School whipped Grace Christian College, 69-59, and improved to 2-5, while keeping GCC winless in seven games.
Meantime, Chiang Kai Shek and Xavier start their best-of-three title series in the Aspirants division with the Junior Dragons gunning for a back-to-back championship.
Just like Xavier, Hope Christian is also on a roll, having won its last three games, including a vengeful 67-63 over Chiang Kai Shek College last Saturday for a 4-2 card.
Hope’s victory ended Chiang Kai Shek’s five-game winning streak and made the title race of the tournament presented by BonChon Chicken and supported by Solar BTV, Molten and Summit Water interesting.
If Hope wins on Saturday, Xavier must beat CKSC on Tuesday next week to force a three-way tie for the lead.