San Beda launched its title retention bid in grand fashion, crushing University of Cebu, 103-63, while former champion Chiang Kai Shek College fired a strong warning at the start of the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship ‘Rain or Shine Cup’ Saturday at the SGS gym in Quezon City.
It took only two quarters for the Red Cubs to disarm the Baby Webmasters in Group B elims as they held the Cebuano dribblers to just 26 points while exploding for 66 points – thanks to the hot-shooting duo of Winston Ynot and Ryyan Amsali who combined for 39 points and 16 boards.
James Incio and Ice Blanco – son of former PBA hotshot Dondon Hontiveros – led the Baby Webmasters with 20 and 9 points, respectively.
The Blue Dragons of Tondo also leaned on a torrid start to stun the reigning NCAA champions Mapua Red Cubs, 84-75, in Group D action of the 12-team tournament bankrolled by Rain or Shine, Freego, Dickies Underwear, Hapee Toothepaste, IronCon Builders, MEC Networks, Blackwater Sports, and Che’Lu Bar and Grill.
Batang Gilas member Rafael Go came off the bench to lead Blue Dragons with 14 points and 12 boards.
League chairman Terry Que and vice chair Eduard Tio expressed delight with the turn out as collegiate coaches were also part of a big crowd obviously looking for talented players.
Dan Arches sizzled for 25 points but got little support from his Red Robins teammates as the Blue Dragons held NCAA Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez to just seven points.
Also off to a rousing start was Jose Rizal University which bombed University of Luzon with 11 triples in coasting to a 101-68 victory in Group A.
Nine players from Mandaluyong scored five points or more as they dominated their rivals from Dagupan City with their brilliant transition plays and rock-solid defense.
Hope Christian High School, which beat CKSC in the finals of the Filipino-Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation, also fell by the wayside, absorbing a stinging 87-75 loss to NCAA runner-up La Salle Greenhills in the event also backed by Molten, by Masumax Food Supplement, Cherrylume, SUMO GI Sheets, Molten and Choi Garden.
Inand Fornilos led the Greenies with 20 points and 9 boards and was also responsible for making life miserable for Hope Christian veteran Harvey Pagsanjan.
Four more teams debut on Sunday with National University going up against UL, Far Eastern University taking on UC, Xavier School colliding with Mapua and University of Santo Tomas facing Hope Christian.