Hua Siong and WIT still undefeated in JB ABL ‘School Wars’

Hua Siong is still undefeated in the JB ABL “School Wars” high school varsity category (Leobert Julian A. de la Peña)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Hua Siong College of Iloilo Red Phoenix (high school varsity) and the Western Institute of Technology (WIT) Tangerine (college alumni) extended their perfect records in the ongoing JB Amateur Basketball League (JB ABL) Season III “School Wars”.

Fresh off a dominating win against Jalandoni Memorial High School, the young core of Red Phoenix outdueled their rival school St. Robert’s Panda Rockets, 73-62, and kept its undefeated winning streak alive to four straight wins.

It was a back-and-forth affair between the Red Phoenix and the Panda Rockets in the first half but a much-needed offensive run in the third frame helped Hua Siong pull away in the game.

Hua Siong’s signature full-court pressure haunted St. Robert’s for four straight quarters and became their key in establishing their attack.

From the get-go, the 2019 ILO PRISAA high school champions displayed their relentless penetration to the cup and just kept on bullying St. Robert’s interior.

The Panda Rockets started to gain some momentum after scoring several second-chance points but the more aggressive Red Phoenix team was just too much to handle.

Aside from their successful run-and-gun, Hua Siong’s size advantage also played a major role in the game that helped them win the rebound and the points in the paint battle.

Meanwhile, in the college alumni victory, the undefeated WIT Tangerine squad continued its dominance and survived the University of Iloilo (UI) Wildcats, 70-68.

Both teams figured in an early shootout as the hot hands of WIT’s Cris Loyola was countered by UI’s Christopher Tasi who made it rain from downtown.

Every time WIT made a run, Tasi’s three-pointers kept UI within striking distance and made up for the absence of no.1 scorer Andy Ticzon and Zael Poral.

WIT established an eight-point lead in the final frame courtesy of Loyola and Bimbo Doliguez’s baskets but two well-designed plays that freed up Tasi helped UI claw back and trimmed the lead to just two.

Alvin Benecio had a chance to balloon WIT’s lead to four points and build a comfortable cushion but missed both of his free throws with nine seconds remaining in the game.

UI then turned to their money man and kicked out a pass to Tasi in the right corner during their final possession but missed the golden opportunity that would’ve helped the Wildcats take a one-point lead and hand WIT its first-ever loss in the School Wars.