HOLY Cross of Davao College (HCDC) Crusaders is back in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Mindano Finals after bagging the Gaisano Grand Cup men's college crown Sunday evening at the Gaisano Grand SkyGym.
The HCDC Crusaders humbled Jose Maria College (JMC) Kings, 98-81, in their titular showdown.
HCDC head coach Isaias "Ice" Gravador, in a Facebook interview with SunStar Davao on Monday, November 26, lauded the efforts of his players.
"The team neutralized JMC's advantage which is rebounding. Konti lang ang second chance points ng JMC sa game. We were able to score in transition," he said, adding, "I think most importantly is the players' determination to win. They played their hearts out. They deserve this championship."
He was pertaining to team captain James Linares, BJ Sumugat, Paul Turco, Mark Francisco, Jim Yap, Patrick Quidato, Renzo Galdo, Bernard Gutierrez, AJ Royo, Miggy de Loyola, Kenn Gudes, Ricky Ruales, Almar Quiabang and Gabriel Lazaraga.
He also cited the JMC Kings, saying, "I still think that they are still the best collegiate team in Davao."
Gravador's wards also cruised past John Paul II College of Davao in the semifinals. But the latter recovered by sinking Agro-Industrial Foundation College of the Philippines (AIFCP) Sailors, 76-60, in their battle for third.
The feat earned the Crusaders their second straight trip to the PCCL Mindanao Finals set this weekend at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center. HCDC was runner-up in last year's edition.
Gravador added Holy Trinity College of General Santos City, Xavier University of Cagayan de Oro and another team from Zamboanga City and HCDC will comprise the four-squad PCCL Mindanao finals.
He, however, said that they do not have much time to prepare for the competition this weekend.