TWO-time defending champion St. Jude Catholic School brought down Pace Academy, 72-69, last Tuesday to assure itself of at least a playoff for the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals of the 4th Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) juniors basketball tournament at the Uno High School gym.
Calvin Uy and Maynard Yap delivered the game’s final four points to seal the victory for the St. Jude, which wrapped up its elimination-round sked with a tournament-leading 6-1 win-loss record.
Uy drove inside after receiving a bullet inbound pass from Lance Chan to give the Judenites a 69-68 lead with 52.4 seconds left.
After a miss by Tyrone Tan of Pace, Yap added another basket with 19.7 seconds left to seal the win for St. Jude.
With the win, the Luis Nolasco-mentored Judenites are now assured of at least a playoff for the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinal playoffs that carry a twice-to-beat advantage over the No. 8 seed.
Only Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy can still tie St. Jude at 6-1 with victories over Philippine Cultural College (Feb. 4) and Grace Christian College (Feb. 5) to force a playoff for the No. 1 seed.
St. Jude had earlier defeated MGC-NLCA, 53-47, in the elimination.
Pace fell to 4-2 with the loss but can still finish as high as third with a victory over Jubilee Christian Academy (Feb. 5) or as low as fifth with a loss to JCA coupled with a PCC win over MGC-NLCA.
Yap led the way for St. Jude with 34 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and 13 rebounds.
Joao Filipino added nine markers.
Pol Antiporda finished with 21 points but was held to only two free throws in the third quarter and no points in the fourth while struggling with a shoulder injury he sustained with 5:28 left in the third period.
Rhicky Alba added 12 points.