THIRTEEN-year-old Kirrel Brahndon Montalbo nailed a game-high of 27 points to lead Johann Kendrick Tan past My Spaghetti House, 74-64, to capture the inaugural Class C title in the 10th Tan Kek Pin Memorial Basketball Cup at Po Hang gym, Bacolod Tay Tung High School.
Montalbo, who was the eventual Most Valuable Player (MVP), poured an early 19 points in the second quarter to led JKT to an undefeated record.
Though My Spaghetti took a 9-2 lead behind Fr. Clarence Canafe low post moves netting six points but JKT rallied to cut the lead 11-10 behind Siote Diente inside points and defensive stops by Judge Paolo Ariola.
Spaghetti then shifted to another gear and took advantage of their quickness and fastbreak points to pull away at the end of the first quarter 21-12.
However, in the second quarter JKT clawed their way back on a 12-3 run behind Montalbo fastbreak attacks and David Tan and John Dustin Chua combined efforts tying the game at 24-all with 5:59 mark.
Montalbo displayed his inside and outside game as he rattled off 11 straight points giving JKT a 40-29 lead at end of the half.
In the third quarter, a back to back trey by Spaghetti’s Deonyson Dy cut the lead to 37-44 but JKT Brian Tan scored 4 points to bring the lead back to 11. Fr. Canafe then scored seven points to help Spaghetti cut the lead end of the quarter by 55-49.
My Spaghetti Bol Manaloto opened the final quarter with a layup putting the score closer to 55-53, but Celhelm Uy hit a triple alongside with Montalbo bank shot providing JKT some breathing room for a 7-point advantage.
After Ralph Richard Tan’s trey cutting the lead anew to 64-58 with the 5:18 tick, JKT limited Spaghetti to only 6 points while made a run on John Dustin Chua triple sparkling John Montemayor, Victor Go Jr., Montalbo and Manaloto sealing the game.
Backstopping Montalbo were Uy - eight points, Go Jr. - seven, Diente - six, Montemayor and Chua – five, while Fr. Canafe paced Spaghetti with 17 points, Manaloto 16, Co 14, Dy 6, and Chua had 5.
Playing on Thursday night will be the second day of the round robin semis in Class B with Talisay City going up against PD888 Tropics Restobar in the first game while Filsino Selection meets BBC in the second game. (With reports from Stephen Tan/Scoop-Bacolod)