MANILA, Philippines - Hope Christian High School and San Sebastian College did an improbable Friday, pulling off dramatic victories over fancied rivals to forge an unlikely title showdown in the first Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym in Manila.
Jollo Go buried three triples and converted all his five free throws at crunch time as Hope Christian hacked out a 67-60 victory over Letran Squires in their knockout Final Four showdown.
In another brilliant show of marksmanship, Go's three successive treys highlighted the team's vicious 11-0 onslaught that saw them turn a three-point deficit into a 54-46 advantage and never looked back from there on.
The Staglets, on the other hand, leaned on the gutsy plays of starting guard Ryan Costelo to get back at NCAA tormentor San Beda College, 75-71, in a game marked by several twists and turns that dramatized their fierce rivalry.
The Red Cubs appeared headed for another breezy win just like their recent championdhip when they took a 63-53 lead but Costelo, Alfren Gayosa and Rhanzel Yong joined forces to rally the Staglets to one of the biggest wins of the tournament sponsored by Ironcon Builders, MEC Networks, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Wrangler, Welcoat House Paints, Hapee Toothpaste, Dickies Underwear and Blackwater Sports.
The title showdown will be aired on Basketball TV (Channel 34) through the sponsorship of BonChon Chicken and Davies Paints.