Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
YOUNG Blood emerged champions of the Chau & Lava Media Under-16 Basketball Tournament after beating Wolves 101-73 in the final today (December 21).
Charles Garcia led the way for Young Blood with 30 points while Kon Yee Hung added 24 to his name at the BBA court in Batu Bersurat.
Jonathan Lim poured in 17 points while the duo of Lim Shi Wei and Ivan Samuel also hit double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively in the win.
On the other hand, Mohd Francis hit a game-high of 31 points to pace Wolves.
Lau Chang Hung contributed 18 points while John Medina chipped in 11 to a losing cause.
Young Blood came out playing man-to-man defence and didn’t require much time to open up a double digit lead as they forced turnovers off their opponents to score on the break.
They also utilised their height advantage and dominated the boards for second chance points..
The Wolves managed to recover a little bit for six unanswered points to cut the deficit to 21-15 heading into the second quarter.
Young Blood started the second period with seven straight points before Francis connected on a trey to stop the rot.
The former continued to put points on the board and built up their lead to as many as 16 points midway through.
Wolves did stay within touching distance with a 7-0 run but couldn’t get any closer.
In a bizarre moment, Maverick Pineda put the ball into his own basket after grabbing a defensive rebound after a missed free-throw to put Young Blood up 43-29 with under two minutes to halftime.
Young Blood were in a comfortable position at the break after Jonathan hit a layup at the buzzer to make it 49-31 at halftime.
With only a six-player rotation with Miguel Molina out with an ankle injury, Wolves looked out of steam.
Young Blood simple continued to run and gun to see the lead balloon to almost 30 point and were never threatened with a 75-48 advantage going into the final frame enroute to victory.
Garcia, who was named the MVP, was delighted with how things turned out having gone unbeaten in the competition with seven straight victories and credited his teammates for it
“It was amazing (to win). We got a strong team. We communicate with each other and have good teamwork,” said Garcia in an interview with BruSports News after the triumph.
“Most importantly is that we trust each other,” he added.
When asked about the bagging the MVP award, Garcia replied: “I kind of expected to win it for the tournament because I have improved a lot under my previous coach (Ali).”
Meanwhile, Underdogs claimed the bronze after dispatching 2Hype 92-76 in the third-place playoff.
A total of six teams - Modesto and ProCon - being the other two competed in the Dec 15-21 competition.