MPAMS-San Mateo copped the title in the inaugural Ballout Hoops Luzon Challenge Open Tournament just recently at University of Makati Gym.
The more experienced Saints took down the young AMA University QC squad, 89-82, to rule the tournament headed by coaching legend Joe Lipa, who served as the event’s commissioner.
John Tayongtong dished out a triple-double to overshadow the explosive performance of teammate Mar Villahermosa.
Tayongtong tallied 12 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds to go along with 3 steals as his all-around performance rubbed off on the rest of the Saints, who drew double figures from five players led by Villahermosa.
Villahermosa knocked in 27 points to lead all scorers.
The veteran guard, who skipped playing in the MPBL along with Tayongtong, also tallied 4 steals and 5 assists.
Exequiel Biteng added 12 points while Mac Sevilla and RJ Diwa each ended up with 11 markers for the Saints, who matched their younger rivals’ fast paced game while also coming away more points from inside the shaded lane, 48-40.
“Worth it yung hindi ako sumali muna sa MPBL kasi nga kaka-recover ko lang from an Achilles heel injury,” said Villahermosa, a former star player of the Caloocan Supremos.
He worked his way to get back in tip-top shape in this tournament and led the Saints to the inaugural staging championship.
Tayongtong, on the other hand, also decided not to play in the MPBL due to more important matters to attend to.
“Ako kasi naghahatid sa anak ko sa school,” he added.
“So with Ballout, mas may oras akong magawa yung mas importanteng bagay na pagiging daddy sa anak ko.”