La Salle Lipa reclaims NBTC Division 2 crown
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 23, 2018 05:43 PM
After a semifinals finish a year ago, La Salle Lipa has returned to the mountaintop of the NBTC Division 2
La Salle Lipa is now the winningest team in the three-year history of the National Basketball Training Center Division 2.
The Chevrons won their second division championship by getting the better of Letran Bataan, 49-44, in the ultimate matchup of the 2018 Exped SM NBTC Division 2 National Finals at the MOA Arena, Friday.
Matthew Virtucio was the hero for the Batanguenos, scoring 15 points, including the back-to-back triples inside the last five minutes which erased a one-point deficit and erected a 44-40 lead in favor of his team. “They boys really gave it their all. In the end, because of experience, we were able to deliver,” said head coach J-Rex Atienza.
Isaiah De Leon converted his own triple to pull the Squires back to within one, but Dale Lupac had the quick counter for La Salle Lipa with four straight points for a 48-43 edge with 52.2 seconds remaining.
Letran Bataan would no longer threaten from that point.
Virtucio was no one man show for the Chevrons as Lupac had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals and Ian Abila chipped in nine markers, 18 big boards, and three steals.
The win reclaims for Batangas the NBTC Division 2 crown it last wore in 2016. “At the end of the day, it’s just God-given. Our motivation is that we have 10 players graduating and it’s our last time to get it done,” said Atienza.
For the Squires, Kevin Raymundo topped the scoring column with 13 points while De Leon got 11 markers, six rebounds, and two assists.
The NBTC Division 2 was inaugurated in 2016. It’s elite list of champions includes La Salle Lipa twice and Assumption Montessori Cagayan de Oro once.
LA SALLE LIPA 49 – Virtucio 15, Lupac 10, Abila 9, Javier 7, Platon 5, Dimayuga 2, Larosa 1, Aranda 0, Virrey 0, Cutanda 0, Natio 0, Baldovino 0
LETRAN BATAAN 44 – Raymundo 13, De Leon 11, Tolentino 7, Llamzon 6, Santos 4, Garcia 3, Handugan 0, Navarro 0
QUARTER SCORES: 13-14, 18-25, 31-33, 49-44