St. Jude Catholic School hurdled Xavier School, 70-63, to sweep the best-of-three finals and rule the Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) 10th Anniversary Invitational Basketball Tournament on Tuesday night, Feb. 28, at Uno High School Gym.
Kobe Chong exploded for 29 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and five steals as the two-seed Green Knights claimed their fourth PCYAA crown and first under coach Homer So.
Ethan Kaw added 18 points built from three triples, four boards, four steals, and two dimes, while Keith Ngu was a sparkplug off the bench with his 12 points and five rebounds, including the dagger putback with a minute remaining that gave St. Jude a 68-63 lead.
The Green Knights had to overcome an 11-point third quarter deficit, 43-32, with 5:45 left in the canto and staged a 14-2 blast capped off by a Ngu jumper to take a 46-45 lead and get themselves back in the game.
That momentum rolled over to the final frame where St. Jude held Xavier to just 11 points as their defense held it together down the stretch to reign supreme in this 11-team tourney supported by Milk Magic, Spalding, Vital Purified Drinking Water, and Nexgen Asia.
Curiously, the Green Knights’ last championship in the only homegrown Fil-Chinese league in the country came in 2018 under Japs Cuan, now the Xavier head coach.
Brent Tiu led the Golden Stallions with 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals, as Andre Tan got 14 points, 10 boards, and three blocks as they saw their dream of a perfect season foiled.
St. Jude won Game One in comfortable fashion, 84-62, last Feb. 23.
With the success of this invitational tourney, PCYAA president Sherwin Tiu is hopeful that the league further grows as it heads to its 11th year.
“Our vision here in the PCYAA is to gather all of the major Fil-Chinese schools in the NCR and develop more homegrown student-athletes,” he said.
Currently, the PCYAA is composed of St. Jude, Pace Academy, St. Stephen’s High School, Philippine Cultural College, Jubilee Christian Academy, MGC-New Life Christian Academy, Uno High School, and Grace Christian College.
Xavier, Chiang Kai Shek College, and Hope Christian High School were invited for this tourney, while the PCYAA has also extended an invite to St. Peter the Apostle School as it prepares for a bigger reach come next season slated in October.
ST. JUDE 70 — Chong 29, Kaw 18, Ngu 12, Chu 4, Feliciano 4, K. Dela Cruz 2, C. Dela Cruz 1, J. Tan 0, Vinoya 0.
XAVIER 63 — Tiu 17, Tan 14, Yu Chua 9, Dagdag 6, Kua 4, Ramirez 4, Choa 4, Chio 3, Tan Climaco 2, Dizon 0, Guevarra 0.
Quarters: 13-11, 26-32, 50-52, 70-63.
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