IN AN expected turn of events, Gamba 97 and the five-time alumni champion XUHS 1999 will have to forget a championship collision.
Gamba and the 99ers are set to a featured match as the 8th XUHS-ABA Basketball Tournament enters the semifinal round on Friday at the Xavier University High School covered courts in Pueblo township.
Gamba earlier secured second place in the St. Peter Faber Cup division, while Batch 99 unexpectedly swept its last three outings and caught up third place to face each other in the semifinal.
That leaves division leader XUHS 2001 to a match up against fourth pacer Batch 2000 in the other crossover match.
“Should they be wise, 99ers should drop their last two games and settle fourth and save a playdate against Gamba in the final,” said ABA commissioner Dhon Lazo.
Lazo said that the 99ers are showing that they are not afraid against anybody even on early collision course contrary what was expected of them to face in the final.
The title-hunger 97ers, on the other hand, will go all-in against them as they will have the whole cavalry intact again.
That means ex-San Miguel Beer forward Bitoy Omolon will be around as well as bull-strong center Andrew Neri and Nikku Benson Valles.
The league heard from the Gamba camp that they will be a formidable team as their big three reunites again.
In other division crossover matches, XUHS 1995 of Shantao Moreno took leadership in the St. Francis Xavier Cup division and will face Xavier United of Erwin Raagas in the crossover.
Defending champion 1994 takes on Spartans 1991.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 13, 2018.