La Finns foils Lyceum, claims crown in 8th BFF Cup

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Friday, April 11, 2014


LA FINNS Scholastica Lion Hearts displayed a heroic ballgame as they upset Lyceum Northwestern University Dukes, 83-81, to bag the open bracket crown of the 8th Panagbenga Cup Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Trailing behind for almost the entire ballgame, La Finns benefited from a fourth quarter meltdown by the Dagupan based Dukes and never looked back since then to bring home to crown Thursday evening at the Easter College gym.

Lion Hearts center Renbert Bayo led with 17 points including nine rebounds and two steals, while Christian Corpuz ended with a season high 15 points and pulled out eight rebounds including three steals and a block.

"We are very happy and at the same time proud winning this title especially that we were able to defeat the Dukes in very tight and close ballgame," said Lion Hearts coach Louie Aquino.

Aquino almost lost his cool during the ball game lambasting the officiating but later on went to celebration mode after the Lion Hearts finally brought out their A game.

"It was really exasperating to deal with the close calls made by the referee’s but what can we do that is how they see the game, but all-in-all it went our very well as the boys dominated the last two minutes of the ballgame," Aquino said.

"This is how basketball goes, until the last buzzer calls, everyone should just hold to perform their best and that’s what our team did," Aquino added.

Trailing 54-55 at the start of the pay-off canto, La Finns finally took the lead for the first time, 68 - 66, behind the combined 13 points from Corpuz, Rico Francisco, and Jonathan Greygochea with 4:02 remaining in the ball game.

The Lion Hearts continued to deliver the damage extending the lead by nine, 80-71 with 1:49 remaining, but Lyceum bounced back with seven unanswered points and trim the gap at two, 80-78, behind Rodcel Yanga, Lloyd Dollaga and George Alipio.

La Finns however extended their lead, 82-78, courtesy of Bayo but it was again narrowed down to one as Julius Palaganas dropped a quick three from the inbound with 23.9 ticks left in the clock.

After stopping the Lion Hearts in their next possession, the Dukes however failed to convert in their next attempt for a possible over time as Bayo bagged a rebound and converted his last basket that sealed the deal for his team.

“We are very satisfied closing the game against Lyceum, we already failed twice meeting them in some few different tournaments but tonight it all seemed different especially that they never got to steal a victory from us this entire season,” Bayo quipped.

Francisco finished with 14 points, Greygochea added another 15, while Gemer Lualhati scored 11 including three from the three point line.

Alipio led Lyceum with 20 points with five rebounds, Dollaga added 15, while Yanga chipped in 14 together with seven rebounds.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 12, 2014.

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