THE Rizal Memorial College (RMC) and Davao Jones Academy (DJA) clinched titles in the Gaisano Grand Cup "Game of the Rising Stars" basketball tournament at the Gaisano Grand Citimall Sky Gym in Davao City over the weekend.

RMC Lady Bulldogs defeated arch-rival University of Mindanao (UM) Cardinals, 54-44, in their women's division championship match. Most valuable player (MVP) and Mythical Five member Joelyn Orilla poured in 16 points while teammate Pamela Etulle, also named to the Mythical Five selection, added 13.

Gaming Demetillo (nine points), Gwen Blanco (six), Ellain Morollina (five), Arlene Duran, Criselda Boyoc, Roslyn Perote and Karen delos Santos also bannered the RMC squad whose head coach is Annie Mana-ay and assistant coach is Melanie Anne Reyes. Albert Ryan Lim is sports director.

Mana-ay said, "We played as a team. Teamwork and determination were the keys to our victory." She then thanked the RMC management headed by president Evelyn Magno, chairman Leo Magno and vice president for administration lawyer Ernesto Robillo for their all-out support to the team.

The Lady Bulldogs routed Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), 61-29, in the semifinals after beating rivals San Pedro College (SPC) via default; Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC), 53-50; UM, 50-43; and AdDU (55-19) in the preliminary games.

DJA thrashed Emar Human and Environmental College (Ehec), 99-49, and to annex the cadet division title.

Steven Cordova led the charge for DJA, exploding with 37 points while Askiah Echavia, who was named MVP, had 19 and Nico Cabalhin scored 17.

Ehec, for its part, leaned on the services of Lioneal Regidor and Ryan Malazarte who each made eight points.

Head coach Jimmy Colicot, in an interview with SunStar Davao, said he's proud of his players. "Happy kaayo ko sa mga bata kay kung unsa amoang gipang-practice mao jud ilang gipakita gikan sa defense ug offense (I'm happy that the players executed our game plan)," the neophyte coach said, adding that having played Ehec before also helped them in their adjustments.

Cordova, in a separate interview, said he was confident they would win because of their fighting heart.

DJA was also composed of Jack Mediano, Adrianne Espinocilla, Omar Initirino, Clarck Abracia, Ryan Laurente, Gerald Sala, Arjay Olalo, Eugene Minoza, Gelou dela Peña and Joshel Diacosta.

The other champions were Holy Child College of Davao (mini) and Davao Central College (junior 2 division).