The Holy Trinity College of General Santos made a statement right at the very start of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) quarterfinals, stunning La Salle, 75-69, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig yesterday.
The Wildcats went on a tear in the final quarter, outscoring the Green Archers, 27-17, to steal the win.
Joseph Diamante led HTC with 21 points, six rebounds, one assist, and three blocks, while Leomark Salas added 20 points, seven rebounds, and two steals.
Antonio Yang fired 21 markers, eight boards, three dimes, and one swipe for La Salle, which opted to bring in a lineup consisting of its Team B players as the squad is undergoing a transition phase.
Top collegiate basketball teams in the country are clashing in the 2018 PCCL led by defending champion San Beda University, which seeks its third consecutive title.
Coaches Tab Baldwin and Topex Robinson have mutual respect regarding how they steered their respective collegiate basketball teams to dominance in their respective leagues.
Reigning UAAP champion Ateneo and NCAA runner-up Lyceum, known for sweeping the elimination round last year, are grouped together in the Elite 8 round of the PCCL.
Both the Blue Eagles and Pirates, however, will not meet until Feb. 11 as they will face off first with the two other teams of Group A, Visayas qualifier UV and Luzon qualifier Naga College Foundation.
On the other hand, Group B HAS NCAA champion San Beda, UAAP runner-up La Salle, Mindanao qualifier Holy Trinity College of General Santos and NCR qualifier San Sebastian.
The Golden Stags' entry means that the top three teams in last year's NCAA season are in the national tournament.
After the intra-group quarterfinals, the top two teams of each group will move on to the crossover semifinals on February 12 with the winners advancing to the national final on February 15.*PNA
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