𝑊𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑛 𝑏𝑦 𝑍𝑜 𝑀𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑠𝑖
𝑃ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜𝑠 𝑏𝑦 𝐴𝑚𝑖𝑒𝑙 𝑀𝑎𝑛𝑢𝑦𝑎𝑔
With their back against the wall, the Benilde-LSGH Greenies came out
triumphant with a final score of 92-79 against the San Beda Red Cubs last
Monday, March 6 thanks to a monstrous third-quarter run.
The first half was heavily contested. On the Greenies’ side, it was the
Twin Towers, Luis Pablo and Seven Gagate, who brought early momentum to the
Green and White. Fellow Greenies Gian Gomez and Gelo Rivero also scored timely
baskets to compliment the towering frontcourt. For San Beda, veterans Chris
Hubilla and John Lopez paced the Greenies in the first quarter. The quarter
ended with a score of 22-16 in favor of Benilde-LSGH.
Going into the second quarter, the San Beda Red Cubs put up more of a
fight. Hubilla continued to muscle his way inside, getting multiple chances to
score from the charity stripe; however, the bruising forward’s weakness was
exploited, as he could not convert on most of his free throw attempts this
quarter. Fellow Bedans Joaquin Wagn, John Lopez, and Joaquin Ludovice helped
with the rest of the scoring load.
Meanwhile, on the Greenies’ end, it was Gomez who shone in this
quarter. The 5’3” shifty guard scored eight points within the span of two
minutes. Despite being the smallest man on the floor, Gomez’s heart and passion
for the game allowed him to stand amongst the giants of high school basketball.
CJ Mesias also chipped in a few baskets, while Gagate and Pablo were doing
their usual demolition down low.
With both sides eager to win, the score was a 48-48 deadlock at
The third quarter was a completely different story, as the Greenies
went on a Golden State Warriors-esque third quarter barrage. Gagate led this
charge with a 9-0 solo run to start. Ethan Alian also showed his experience as
he toyed with the opponent’s much younger guards. On the other hand, San Beda
scored only 10 points in the third quarter, as the Greenies’ stifling defense
on Hubilla mitigated his impact on the game. The previous Player of the Game,
Jhermaine Lecciones, was also locked down by Mesias of the Greenies. Known for
his shooting, Lecciones could not get into rhythm due to the Lasallian
forward’s lateral quickness and effective contests.
During this quarter, the Greenies also incurred a couple of technical
fouls due to improper bench decorum. These were considered debatable by some
given the grounds for calling such technical fouls. Even with the technical
fouls, the Greenies kept their composure and sustained their lead.
The third quarter ended with a score of 74-58.
Finally, instead of collapsing late in the fourth quarter similar to
their previous games, the Greenies held out due to their improved late-game
decision-making. Gagate and Pablo continued their dominance down low. Other
guys of the bench such as Rivero, and John Zaragoza also stepped up to ensure
that San Beda would not get an opening to steal the game. The team started
doubling Hubilla more, and played Lecciones more tightly, which made it
difficult for the Red Cubs to score. Ranz Muyuela, Rafa Romero, Nico Villaver,
and Rocco Zamora were also given chances to play in the last two minutes of the
In the end, the Greenies won the match with a score of 92-78.
Manuel Pablo led the Greenies with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist,
and 2 blocks. Living up to their “Twin Towers” monicker, Seven Gagate also
provided 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks. As for the backcourt, Ethan
Alian chipped in 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Gian Gomez
completed the backcourt scoring, with 11 points on 66.7% shooting from the
Head Coach Renren Ritualo said in an interview that the team is
treating the semi-finals as a best-of-three series. With that, the team aims to
sustain the cerebral style of play that they executed during the game. They
will be using Tuesday to rest and train on Wednesday in preparation for the
highly-anticipated Game 2.
The Lasallian community can expect the Greenies to bring their A-Game
for the rubber match on Thursday. Whoever wins Game 2 will face the number one
seed, the Letran Knights, for the NCAA Juniors title.
– 92: Gagate 24, Pablo 23, Alian 14, Gomez 11, Ison 8, Rivero 5, Mesias 4,
Zaragoza 2, Romero, R. 1, Romero S. 0, Villaver 0, Muyuela 0, Natividad 0,
– 78: Hubilla 34, Lopez 26, Ludovice 8, Lecciones 5, Wagan 3, Dungo 3, Mundas
0, Lorenzo 0, Reyes 0, Ronquillo 0, Lacsamana 0, Manarang 0, Sahali 0, Sollano 0