Xavier, NU, Adamson, AU stand tall in Milcu Got Skills finals
MANILA, Philippines - With a minute left to play, Xavier School appeared vulnerable. Up by 8 points, 51-43, with 3 minutes to play in their Milcu Got Skills "Hard to Guard" 12-under title match against De La Salle Zobel, their lead had shrunk to just one, 53-52 with a minute to play.
The heat was hot on Thursday, February 25 at the Enderun College gymnasium, and it was about to get hotter.
Struggling for several minutes against Zobel's press, Xavier remained one step ahead of the defense with its ball movement to bury a corner 3-pointer which seemed to break Zobel's spirit.
Xavier held on to defeat Zobel, 60-53, and claim the title with Reily Ong, who scores 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, earning MVP honors.
"It's a very big thing for our school, especially that we don't recruit," said Xavier coach John Sy, whose team has played together since they were 8-9 years old. "We've been relying on our grassroot development and we're able to compete with the big school."
This was just one of several championship games on Thursday afternoon at Enderun. In the 13-under final, the National University Bullpups easily handled Chiang Kai Shek College, 63-35, with Ruzzelle Dominguez earning best player honors with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Also, Adamson University defeated San Beda College Alabang, 64-56, to win the 15-under title, with Andrei Doria (10 points, 3 rebounds) being named MVP. And in the 25-under final, Arellano University defeated Saint Clare College, 61-49, with Michael Canete earning MVP honors.
Got Skills executive director Allen Ricardo has been running the tournament since 2013, having been inspired after watching age-group tournaments in Las Vegas.
He says the appeal of the tournament is enabling non-NCAA and UAAP schools to compete against the better known basketball programs in the Philippines on the weekends and holidays.
Got Skills returns on April 16 with the Milcu x Got Skills Basketball Malolos Republic Summer Showcase, with 70-90 schools from around the Philippines in the 12-under, 13-under, 14-under, 16-under and 25-under age groups expected to compete. Teams interested in registering can contact Lui at 0917-894-3943 or on the Got Skills Facebook page. – Rappler.com