THE Emar Human and Environmental College (EHEC) Red Stags came from behind to beat Jose Maria Colleges (JMC) Kings 60-56, and clinched the 2017 Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) High School basketball title Saturday afternoon at the Lanzona Subdivision Gym in Matina, Davao City.
It was a see-saw affair that produced a total of six deadlocks all throughout. The Kings had a 44-36 lead in the first five minutes of the third quarter from a 28-30 deficit at the end of the first half.
But EHEC fueled a 6-0 courtesy of the combined efforts of Adrian Paul Hawtay and Allan Dave Magallanes to close the third canto at 42-44.
Two points was added by Magallanes that resulted in a final deadlock at 44-all before they rallied to a 6-1 run and mounted a formidable 53-45 lead.
From there, The Red Stags never looked back to secure the elusive title that slipped their hands last year after losing against Ford Academy of Arts (FAA).
Hawtay completed a 17-points output which was reinforced by Magallanes' stellar playmaking skills.
EHEC head coach Arturo Montalban, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao at the sidelines of the event, said the victory boosted his player's morale.
"Lipay ko kay at least nahatagan exposure ang mga bata og preparation napud ni para sa Unit meet (I'm happy that the kids are given exposure that will serve as preparation for the Unit meet)," Montalban said, as they eye to go for a three-peat in the upcoming Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa).
But Montalban said they still have a lot of things to work out especially their defense and discipline.
"Dili pa kaayo intact ang team ug kailangan pa jud i-gel up (The team is not completely intact yet and there's still a need for gelling up)," he said.
Montalban, however, praised his boys for their determination to win.
EHEC is bannered by John Mharc Castro, Thal Dolormente, Joerien Lapriza, Mark Loceo, Dexter Tabucanon, Kevin Baste, Jerold Medina, Marvin Alejano, Jason Candari, Jayson Espinosa, Ray Allen Cervantes, Ryan Evangelista and Bonn Daja with assistant coach Jovan Ongco.
The annual event, which is organized by the YMCA, aims to develop and nurture Christian values among athletes through sports. It is also officiated by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.