St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills completed a Cinderella finish beating the heavily favored Mapua, 75-74, Friday to seize its very first NCAA juniors’ championship at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City.
Joshua David finished with a career 27 points, 18 of which he posted in the second half while Joel Cagulangan poured in 19 including two important free throws that gave CSB-LSGH the lead for good.
Mapua had a pair of chances to snatch the lead, the win and the title but Clint Escamis couldn’t launch a shot as its shot clock time expired while Mike Enriquez’s jumper atop the key bounced off as the final buzzer sounded.
“If I could name all the players who played for this school, I’m dedicating this to them,” said CSB-LSGH coach Marvin Bienvenida.
It was a fairy tale run for CSB-LSGH as it had to beat San Sebastian in a knockout duel for the fourth and last Final Four spot, shock top seed and powerhouse San Beda twice in the semis before scoring two mammoth wins in the finals against Mapua.
For Mapua, it was a heartbreaking defeat as it was denied its 22nd championship that would have pushed them on top alongside San Beda as the most titled high school team in the NCAA.
“We never won against San Beda last season we never won against Mapua, so that became our motivation including off season games against them in other leagues. But it motivated us and we get to beat them when it mattered the most,” said Bienvenida.
Cagulangan emerged as the Finals MVP after averaging 17 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the series.
CSB-LSGH 75- David 27, Cagulangan 19, Jacob 8, Fornillas 8, Marcos 6, Lepalam 4, Mosqueda 3, Perez 3, Morales 0, Pedrosa 0, Sangco 0
Mapua Escamis 21, Lacap 13, Gozum 12, Bonifacio 10, Enriquez 8, Ramos 6, Garcia 4, Arches 0, Dennison 0, Jabel 0, Sarias 0
Quarterscores: 15-19; 32-44; 53-56; 22-18