In a thriller early in the Super 32 of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go/NBTC Nationals presented by SM, Durham Crossover Toronto needed to dig deep, surviving a 42-point explosion by First City Providential College swingman John Bravo to take an 85-82 win, Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Well, meron very special player, yung Bravo. Pati yung number ten nila, yung Theo Pablico, para silang Batman and Robin,” Durham Crossover coach Mike Cruz said about Bravo, who finished the game with the second highest scoring output ever in the 12-year history of the National Finals.
Behind Bravo and Pablico, the Royal Eaglets were able to take a 10-point lead early in the contest.
“Third quarter, nag-adjust kami kay Pablico nung third quarter at hinintay namin mapagod yung Bravo. Last two minutes, dun kami nakalamang after nung i-shut down namin yung Bravo,” disclosed Cruz as Durham gained a 10-point edge entering the final frame.
The Royal Eaglets were still able to knot things up late before Jason Diaz knocked down a cold-blooded triple with seconds left to weather the team out of Bulacan, who were a late replacement in the tourney.
Denzel Faraon and Diaz connived to tow the Fil-Canadians to victory. The former tallied 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and four steals, while the latter finished with 16 markers spiked by four threes.
Camp David New Zealand also advanced to the Supreme 16 after escaping SLS Don Bosco of Dumaguete, 80-77. Reimar Cruz led five Fil-Kiwis in double-digits with 26 points. Meanwhile, Dumaguete’s Karl David held the fort for his squad with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
In Palm Coast Marina, Hope Christian High School bested Sto. Domingo National High School Legaspi, 71-50. NBTC All-Star Harvey Pagsanjan led the way for the Soldiers with 22 points on 10-for-21 shooting from the field.
The other Fil-Canadian squad in the tourney, Top Flight Hoops Vancouver, held off Davao Del Norte’s St Mary’s College of Tagum, 72-68.
The squads from Davao Del Norte, Legaspi, Bulacan, and Dumaguete will still compete in the Division II of the league.
There are still 12 games remaining in the Super 32, including Jalen Green’s FilAm Sports, Kai Sotto’s Ateneo Blue Eaglets-Quezon City, and Carl Tamayo’s NU Bullpups-Manila. The entire event will be free of admission, needing just a valid ID to enter.
The tournament is sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, Molten, and presented by 5Plus and Lighthouse Events.