MVP Gozum teams up with Escamis to lift Malayan to championship

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 25, 2017 02:31 PM
Gozum teams up with Escamis to lift Malayan to championship
WIND BENEATH MY WINGS. Clint Escamis and the rest of Malayan will be entering their title defense in the NCAA on a high.

Malayan High School of Science is raring and ready to defend their throne in the upcoming NCAA.

And two weeks away from the start of that season, they just got the biggest of boosts.

Will Gozum remained a force, Clint Escamis showed his heart, and the Red Robins flew higher than Ateneo de Manila High School, 89-82, to claim the championship in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament.

Gozum had his usual double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, but it was Escamis who rallied the NCAA champions. “Ginalingan ng mga bata. Binigay na nila lahat,” a beaming head coach Randy Alcantara said post-game.

He then continued, “One game lang ‘to e, hindi best-of-three. Kaya tinodo na talaga nila.”

Indeed, the emerging two-way stud left it all on the floor and scored nine of his 23 points in Malayan’s 14-3 run that turned a four-point deficit early in the final frame into a 79-72 advantage.

The Blue Eaglets kept coming, however, and Kai Sotto pulled them to within 78-82 inside the last two minutes only to see Brian Lacap put away the game for the Red Robins once and for all with a booming triple.

Warren Bonifacio also had an 18-point, 12 rebound double-double for the Filoil preseason champions who will head into the upcoming NCAA on a high. “Malaking bagay para sa amin ‘to. Malaking dagdag sa kumpyansa ng mga players,” Alcantara expressed.

For Ateneo, Sotto posted 15 points and 14 rebounds while Dave Ildefonso topped the scoring column with 16 points.

With lead guard SJ Belangel having an off night and only getting nine points on 3-of-16 shooting, they settle for a runner-up finish.

In the battle for third, Nazareth School of National University rode the broad shoulders of Rhayyan Amsali to tame much-improved University of Sto. Tomas, 86-75.

The versatile forward had 30 points and 14 rebounds to fuel the UAAP runners-up in salvaging third-place.

On the other hand, the Tiger Cubs got 14 points from Paolo Hernandez and 12 points from Gian Benzonan. Even with a loss in the last game, the fourth-place finish remains a promising sign for the rebuilding team.

BOX SCORES

FIRST GAME

NU 86 – Amsali 30, Coyoca 16, Javillonar 14, Fortea 6, Gonzales 4, Puray 4, Manalang 2, Malonzo 2, Minerva 2, Lantaya 2, Pangilinan 2, Pradella 2, Gayola 0, Felicida 0

UST 75 – Hernandez 14, Benzonan 12, Balingit 11, Lina 8, Dela Cruz 8, Narvasa 8, Biag 5, Palencia 3, Dolendo 2, Manabat 2, Co 2, Anunciacion 0

QUARTER SCORES: 25-22, 40-47, 62-58, 86-75

SECOND GAME

MALAYAN 89 – Escamis 23, Bonifacio 18, Gozum 17, Garcia 14, Lacap 9, Enriquez 4, Jabel 4, Dennison 0, Ramos 0

ATENEO 82 – Ildefonso 16, Sotto 15, Manuel 13, Belangel 9, Jaymalin 9, Chiu 5, Credo 4, Gusi 4, David 3, Angeles 2, Escalona 2, Tanedo 0

QUARTER SCORES: 16-19, 41-43, 59-62, 89-82

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