Holy Angel University (HAU) Golden Guardians managed to secure a heart-stopping 67-64 win over the Manuel L. Quezon University (MLQU) Stallions during the 21st National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (NAASCU) basketball elimination round yesterday at New Era University in Quezon City.
Despite missing key players Xyron Mallari, Hienz Villanueva, and MJ Elospa, the Kapampangan squad managed to control the game as the bench players contributed 24 points to MLQU’s 13.
Both teams went on to a neck-and-neck start with a score of 15-13 at the end of the first quarter and 34-30 at the end of the first half.
At the beginning of the second half, starters Ramonchito Rodriguez and Marc Basilio led the Golden Guardians as they established their biggest lead of 17 points over the Stallions, ending the third quarter with a score of 54-37.
The basketball drama started in the fourth quarter as HAU’s big men Jerlan Manaloto, Noy Capuno, and Sernaco Sacmar III were fouled out, leaving MLQU’s players to catch up in the last minutes of the game. However, the Golden Guardian’s deep bench managed to protect their lead, escaping with a 67-64 victory over the Quezonians.
Marc Basilio was hailed as the Player of the Game with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists, with their captain Tristan Tubangui also contributing a huge 19 rebounds.
This is their first win after their loss to Philippine Christian University in the opening match last Monday, which according to HAU’s Coach Miguel Bituin, was an “upset loss”.
“Meg-adjust kami kareng minor details na meging mali keng PCU game (We made adjustments in the minor details that were lacking in the PCU game),” said Coach Bituin.
The Golden Guardians will take on the league’s six-peat champion St. Clare College of Caloocan tomorrow for their next match.
Sports News by Sophia Suarez