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Blue Royals complete ISAA seniors hoops three-peat, tame Blue Dragons in pivotal Game 3

By Ricky Manliguis

La Consolacion Colleges Manila secured its third successive Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA) seniors basketball title, carving out an 84-70 win over ICCT Colleges in the winner-take-all Game 3 Wednesday at the Trinity University of Asia (TUA) gym.

Banking on another fourth-quarter rally against a tough nut in the Blue Dragons, the Blue Royals thus completed a basketball “triple-double” this season, after their juniors counterparts the Baby Blue Royals also achieved a trifecta after nabbing the juniors title last Saturday.  

Christian Alonzo once again exploded for the Blue Royals, finishing with 22 points with six steals on 8-of-17 shooting. He was later named the Finals Most Valuable Player with averages of 24.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 steals, and 3.0 assists in the three games.  

Kenneth Glariana backstopped Alonzo with 18 points, six boards, three assists, and three steals in his final game for La Consolacion, while twin towers John Michael Urmeneta and Kenneth Castillo combined for 23 markers and 14 rebounds.

Jun Reign Baculio led ICCT with 19 points and six steals, while Jeciel Torres contributed 16 and six boards. Mark Angelo Magno cashed in a double-double of 11 markers and 10 boards.

LCCM waxed hot early on, building leads by as many as nine points. But ICCT refused to give in and even threatened to grab the lead at crucial moments of the match. Yuri Virtucio’s lay-up brought the Blue Dragons to within two points, 66-68, with five minutes left in the fourth, only for the Blue Royals to instigate a 16-4 finishing kick to put the game away for good.

 “We were able to execute the game plan, we pressured the ball really well, especially in the fourth quarter. As with Game 2, the boys’ conditioning really played a key role to us in this game,” said LCCM coach Kenyon Chee in a post-game interview.  

Chee also stated that despite this season being a transition period because of the pandemic, the team was able to build a well-cohesive line-up to successfully defend the title.  

“It’s tough to lose key players to graduation, (Kenneth) Glariana is a mythical team member who was instrumental to us all season. But hopefully with the coming of new players and our remaining guys, we could continue performing well in the coming seasons,” he later added.  

ICCT head tactician Arvin Guinto praised his wards for their gallant effort throughout the season.

“For me, we overachieved this season. To think that La Consolacion beat their opponents by a huge margin in the games before the finals, we managed to beat them by a point and gave a tough fight in the finals. I am happy with the boys’ effort, they displayed heart,” he said in a separate interview.

“Well, I hope next season we could get a big man, but we will still be hungry and will not stop until we get our ultimate goal which is the championship.”   

Urmeneta was later adjudged as the season MVP in the awarding ceremonies after the game. He was joined in the Mythical team by Glariana, Baculio, Magno, and WCC ATC’s Ivan Salinel. Castillo was named the Defensive Player of the Season.

LCCM’s John Kelly Aloro got the Juniors Season MVP honors, while Finals MVP Lance Siena brought home the Defensive Player honors. Aloro and Siena were joined in the Mythical Team by the AirLink duo of Gerlis Bulilan and Paul Resara, and Treston’s Ivanne Malay.


The Scores:

La Consolacion- Manila (84) – Alonzo 22, Glariana 18, Urmeneta 12, Castillo 11, Cabal 8, Cerezo 8, Ober 3, Postanes 2, Pineda 0.

ICCT (70) – Baculio 19, Torres 16, Magno 11, Rebollido 9, Esguerra 5, Soria 3, Mapua 2, Camposo 2, Arimado 2, Virtucio 2, Reyes 0, Mahomoc 0, Buban 0, Castro 0, Bencalo 0.

Quarterscores: 23-14, 49-43, 68-62, 84-70. 

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