FRANCIS Gabriel Escandor provided the much needed spark in the pay-off period as the Ateneo de Davao University (Addu) Junior Blue Knights upset three-time defending champion and arch-rival Assumption College of Davao (ACD) Warriors, 75-73, in the finals of the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Davao High School basketball Sunday afternoon, February 19, at the Goldstar Gym in Barrio Obrero, Davao City.

Escandor, who made five out of six three-pointers at the stretch, finished with 17 points for the Junior Blue Knights who were trailing in the first three periods.

Axel Doromal, for his part, was hailed as the most outstanding player of the year as he sizzled with 24 points. Marion Angeles added 16 points to help the Miguel Solitaria-coached Addu end its NBTC title drought.

ACD, meanwhile, leaned on the services of BJ Sumugat and Cris Marvin Vistal who canned 22 and 17 points, respectively.

Escandor, in an interview with SunStar Davao, said he thought of stepping up in the final frame as he was scoreless in the first three quarters.

“I listened to coach Miggy to take the open shots,” Escandor said, thanking God for giving them the victory.

Doromal, in a separate interview, said: “This is the sweetest championship title for me and I dedicate this to my family especially to my mom who passed away last year. This is for you Ma,” he said.

Solitaria, for his part, said the NBTC title is the only missing piece to his puzzle.

“I’m so glad that we were able to make it before I’m leaving for a greener pasture,” Solitaria will step down as the Blue Knights coach after accepting the offer to become the assistant coach of the De La Salle University Green Archers.

Addu was also bannered by Joshua Barrientos, Isaac Selgas, Joachim Weill, Joshua Go, Jan Rubiato, Matthew Martinez, Dom Cane, James Bacalso, Jethro Taculin and Kenneth Batilo.