By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Saint Robert’s International School of Iloilo added another basketball milestone in their storied high school hoops campaign after winning the first-ever JB Amateur Basketball League (JB ABL) x On D’ Move (ODM) Sports League School Wars high school champions.
Eager to win the battle of the champions against Roxas’ best high school team, St. Robert’s put up a solid performance to fend off the Saint Joseph Los Obreros, 86-82, last December 3, 2022, held at the Dinggoy Roxas Civic Center, Capiz.
St. Robert’s three-hour travel from Iloilo to Roxas was all worth it after stunning the home team in front of their hundreds of supporters.
The John Guanco-mentored squad quickly waxed hot from the shooting field and raced to a 12-3 lead courtesy of their unstoppable plays in the shaded lane.
Their go-to play in the left block led them to their lead backstopped by the solid play of Erlance Pedrita who drove against the teeth of the St. Joseph defense at will for easy deuces.
However, just when St. Robert’s thought they could snowball the game after a terrific first-quarter performance, the home team answered with their own scoring run that helped them inch closer in the ball game.
The Los Obreros squad then officially put themselves back in the ball game after several baskets underneath the basket that turned the game into a nip-and-tuck affair.
St. Joseph even retook the lead midway through the final frame but Pedrita and the rest of St. Robert’s closed the game with a flawless clutch stretch sequence.
Pedrita’s stellar performance of 23 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists helped him earn Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) award honors.
Meanwhile, in the first game, the St. Robert’s Panda Rockets got the better of the Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion (CPC) Angels, 85-81.
Gracing the prestigious event of the School Wars grand finale were ODM and JB ABL commissioners, Mr. Jeremiah Obera and Mr. Jayphet Balbacal, respectively.