FRESH from hurdling the Northern Mindanao Palarong Pampook, the Xavier University dribblers get the chance for another title finish in the lovely month of February after topping the NBTC-D League's elimination round at XU gym here.

The XU-powered Oro Grande overcame a tough BMEG-Pilgrim challenge, 86-82 then watched erstwhile leader Smart-Sacred Heart get massacred by Nutri C-Corpus Christi, 96-57 on Saturday to suddenly emerge on top at the end of the double elimination round matches.

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Coach Manny Diaz's Oro Grande registered a 5-1 win-loss card with its lone defeat being handed by Smart during the early part of the elimination round.

Smart's shocking loss did not affect, however, the wards of coach Boy Dacoco's entry in the finals, owing to their 4-2 ledger. Nutri C, mentored by Richard Tangara, finished at 3-3 while coach Wewe Daba's BMEG-Pilgrim is winless in six outings.

"It was a gracious exit for both Nutri C and B-MEG teams. Winning in such a big margin is an indication nga adunay ikabuga ang Corpus medyo na-ulahi lang pag arangkada. Peldi apan upat lang ka puntos ang biya sa Pilgrim in their last game," said Arvin Martinez, head of National Basketball Training Center Developmental League for Northern Mindanao area.

Oro Grande and Smart will clash in a one-off championship match on Feb. 28 with the winner to qualify in the Mindanao Finals in Davao. The top-two performing teams in Davao will then represent Mindanao in the National Finals to be slated in Manila.

The scores:

Oro Grande (XU core) 86--Palomar 14,Quirit 10, Mabanta 10, Labitad 9, Lagbas 9, Malferarri 7, Sabal 6, Sol 6, Racho 5, Gamos 4, Malagar 2, Yaranon 2, Daytia 2, Pagalan 0, Abao 0, Flores 0.

B-MEG (Pilgrim core) 82--Mijares 14, Fuentes 14, Aquino 11, Lozada 10, Beja 8, Jabines 8, Royo 6, Conol 4, Palomar 3, Acaylar 2, Galarion 2, Cepeda 0, Intong 0. Comendador 0, Nagac 0, Galan 0.

2nd game

Nutri C (Corpus core) 96--Ostrea 17, Subsuban 14, Baluran 14, Susas 10, Laurito 8, Obedencio 8, Josol 6, Villanueva 5, Saniel 4, Sultan 3, Rebaya 3, Ugay 2, Sendaydiego 2, Salceda 0, Arao 0.

Smart (Sacred Heart) 57--Lerio 15, Lastimosa 8, Macapayag 5, Nemenzo 5, Bucag 5, Omila 4, Paza 4, Sabacdalao 4, Ramas 3, Akut 2, Jabagat 2, Cox 0, Duo 0, Ramas 0.