XUHS ’91 downs younger XU ’92-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
IN A dramatic come-from-behind win against a bigger, younger team, Xavier University High School (XUHS) Batch 1991 defeated XUHS Batch 1992 by the smallest margin -- a single point -- during the first round of the XUHS Alumni Basketball Association (XUHSABA) tourney here last Friday at the Xavier University Covered Courts.
The ’91 Spartans were down early as ’92 utilized their bulk and height advantage to take a 35-26 lead at halftime. Midway through the third quarter, ’92 enjoyed a 20-point lead over their older opponents. Undaunted, the smaller yet feisty Spartans tightened their team defense and mounted a serious comeback, led by point guard and team captain Anthony Pabillore. “We decided to pressure them by setting full court traps and playing man-to-man, which made it difficult for their guards to set plays and wore out their big men,” Pabillore said after the game.
Combining defense with strong drives and pinpoint passing that led to open shots by guards Cary Darunday, Michael Galvez, Bong Gorospe and center Amado Noble, the Spartans cut ’92’s lead to only 4 points at the end of the third.
Batch ’92 refused to go down easily, however, and sparked their own rally in the fourth, led by shooting guard Ferdinand Valencia, who led all scorers with 19 points. But the Spartans intensified their defense, which led to easy fast break baskets at the other end. In the dying minutes of that physical, tension-filled game, Pabillore took matters in his hands, scoring the Spartans’ final 8 points, including the last 3 crucial free throws that gave them a 1 point edge.
With 18 seconds left in the game and trailing 60-59, ’92 tried to set up a low-post play on the left block for forward Mario Pabillore Jr. but ’91 guard Ian Llego batted the pass out of bounds. After a final timeout with 8 seconds left in the game, ’92 then tried to feed their main scorer Valencia for the last shot but failed because he was covered by Michael Galvez. The ball finally ended up in the hands of guard Monsendo, who threw a contested brick that was offensive rebounded by Jonathan Araneta.
Araneta’s point-blank put-back went through the hoop but was not counted as the final buzzer had already sounded. The Spartans bench and supporters erupted with emotion and stormed the court in obvious glee. Team manager Ryan Somo said, “I’m proud of my team. We maintained our composure and did not give up. This is a great win for us and a true character test.”
The XUSHABA is a basketball tournament composed of and played by various alumni batches of XUHS. It is now in its 3rd season.
Final score: XUHS 1991 , XUHS 1992 
XUHS ’91 scorers: A. Pabillore 15; C. Darunday 13; M. Galvez 9; B. Gorospe 7; A. Noble 6; I. Llego 4; C. Moreno 2; M. Verdeflor 2; A. Nieva 2.
XUHS ’92 scorers: Valencia 19; Salva 8; Araneta 7; Pasios 2; M. Pabillore 8; Lucagbo 2; Sepe 4; Monsendo 4; Dy 2; Yacapin 3.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 26, 2012.