Xavier, San Benildo forge Filoil 11-Under finals clash
MANILA, Philippines — The Xavier Golden Stallions arranged a finals meeting with Colegio De San Benildo in the 11-Under Division of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan Thursday.
Xavier, unbeaten in nine matches, dispatched De La Salle Zobel, 46-34, while Colegio De San Benildo seized the game from the La Salle Greenhills Greenies in the second frame to win, 64-50.
Leading 33-31 after the third period, Xavier blanked the De La Salle Zobel Junior Archers for over eight minutes while scoring nine straight points to make it a 44-32 lead. The Golden Stallions forced two jump balls and stole the ball five times from the Junior Archers during the run.
By the time DLSZ’s Javier Dimayuga tacked on a free throw for his side, there was 1:17 left to play and the final score the only thing undecided.
Xavier actually found themselves down late in the third period, 28-25, after the Juniors Archers’ aggressive and physical defense troubled them. Behind Wesley Yu and Andrew Chio, they erased the deficit and took the lead for good.
“The boys were distracted by the aggressive play of La Salle and we had to remind them to go back to their offense,” said Xavier coach Jojo Imutan. “I am glad they responded.”
Wesley was the only Golden Stallion in double figures with 10 points.
DLSZ was led by Javier Dimayuga, who finished with 12.
Colegio De San Benildo, the second-best squad in the 11-Under Division with a 7-2 slate, got 24 big points from James Macale with Xian Coronel and Jyrus De Villa adding 16 and 10 markers, respectively.
Down, 12-10, at the end of the first period, San Benildo played tough defense and forced LSGH into a spate of turnovers that saw them take control of the game.
Stephen Gacarma and Dwayne Nonato each scored 12 points for the Greenies.
The finals will be on Sunday at the same venue.