CenterPhil sets finals duel with Hua Siong

CENTERPHIL Silverknights maintained their unblemished record in the 2017 Iloilo Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Basketball Tournament as they stunned St. Robert’s International Academy (SRIA) Panda Rockets in the semifinals, 86-83, at the Western Institute of Technology (WIT) covered gym, Oct. 19.

The win sets up a finals match between CenterPhil and Hua Siong College of Iloilo (HSCI) on Oct 24 at the Iloilo Sports Complex (ISC) covered gym starting 5:30 p.m.

SRIA relied mainly on Kevin Barranco’s three-point shots to control the game for three quarters.

Panda Rockets head coach John Guanco employed a fast-paced play to establish a 19-point lead in the opening quarter.

They continued to rule the game by half-time, 41-35, and even stretched their lead to 7 points at the end of the third canto.

But CenterPhil head coach Andee Ticzon noticed that Barranco was already suffering from cramps and some Panda Rockets big men were already in foul trouble.

Ticzon setup a trap defense and relied on his second team to dominate the last 4 minutes of the final period.

The winning team was led by Patrick John Gain with 20 points. He was supported by teammates Jedrick Sean Tigres and Lester Valn Paraico who chipped in 13 and 12 baskets, respectively.

This is CenterPhil’s first time to reach the finals after just two years of joining the ISSA meet.

The match against Hua Siong is expected to become an epic duel as pits Iloilo province’s best against one of Iloilo City’s top cage squads.

“As usual, I thought we will lose again the game as St. Robert’s is ahead from the first up to the third quarter and the final score was the same when we took on Sun Yat Sen, 86-83. It was our lucky number indeed,” said team owner Mark Palabrica.

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