In the battle of Manila vs. the Visayas, the big city teams came out on top to win the championships at the national finals of the BEST SBP Passerelle Twin Tournament backed by Milo at the St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City. La Salle Greenhills scored its second straight national championship in the SBP division by trashing the University of the Visayas, 55-39, while Adamson University needed an overtime period to outlast Bacolod Tay Tung High School, 70-61, to also win its second straight Passerelle division championship.
La Salle broke open a close game wide open with a big second quarter to douse any hopes of a UV upset. After leading 16-15 in the first quarter, La Salle went to its swarming full-court defense to limit UV to only four points in the second quarter while scoring 20 of its own for a commanding 36-19 halftime lead. UV couldn’t gain any headway in the third quarter as La Salle maintained its 17-point bubble at 46-29. It was cruise control for the Greenies in the fourth period as they stopped any UV attempt to rally. Ethan Alian, who led the second quarter set that broke the game open, had 10 points to lead a balanced offense. Javi Jugo had eight while four more players had at least six points each. Sean Salarza had 12 points to lead UV. UV’s other key players were shut down by the leech-like La Salle defense.
Meanwhile, Adamson University was stretched to the limit by a hard-fighting Bacolod Tay Tung High School side which played in front of a supportive and loud hometown crowd. Tay Tung took a 12-10 lead at the end of the first quarter before Adamson took a 23-20 halftime lead and 47-45 cushion at the end of the third quarter. The Visayas champions surprisingly stepped up and managed to keep pace the taller, bigger and more talented Baby Falcons. Down 55-60, Tay Tung rose to the occasion to send the game into overtime at 60-all. But the overtime was all Adamson as Jeffy Mailim and Nicole Quinal drilled three straight triples to give Adamson an unsurmountable 69-60 lead and the defense finally shut down the dribble drive penetration of Tay Tung. Jeffy Mailim led Adamson with 13 points including three clutch treys. Nicole Quinal and Ahmad Hanapi had 11 each. Ralph Cagalawan led Tay Tung with 13.
In games for third place in the SBP division, Xavier University of Cagayan de oro dropped Berkeley School of Baguio, 72-33. Holy Child College of Davao defeated International School for Better Beginnings, 75-56, to take third place in the Passerelle division.
The SBP Passerelle Tournament is organized by the BEST Center and is sponsored by Milo. This was the 31st edition of the tournament that starts at the provincial level, goes through a regional finals before culminating in the national finals.