DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 Feb) -- The Rizal Memorial College Bulldogs defeated Ateneo de Davao University Blue Knights, 102-96, to win the EDSA Basketball Tournament title Saturday night at the Davao City Recreation Center.
The Bulldogs leaned on their run-and-gun type of play to pull off the improbable title-clinching victory over the Blue Knights.
Hermann Dejito came out unstoppable, canning 32 big points for the Bulldogs who took a 73-68 lead going to the final period.
But it was Mohaledin Distancia who provided RMC's much needed lift, converting four straight points down the stretch to take a 92-84 advantage.
The high-flying Distancia split his free throw but superbly hauled the rebound for a put back plus a foul. He sank the bonus throw.
Kinny Rosil Isik and Ramfe Rodriguez added 18 and 11 points for RMC which took home the P10,000 cash prize personally awarded by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez.
The Blue Knights threatened to take the lead as Richard Madelo, Jarius Guingguing and Paulo Sta. Ana conspired for a 6-0 run that cut the deficit to 4, 94-90.
But Dejito was quick to answer with a short jumper to give RMC some breathing room, 96-90, with less than a minute remaining.
The next play saw Madelo who topscored for Ateneo with 32 points missing on his three-point attempt. With the time not on their side, the Blue Knights were forced to foul to stop the time but the Bulldogs showed nerves of steel as they calmly sank their free throws that eventually sealed the victory.
RMC took a 25-23 lead after 10 minutes of play and both teams managed to trade baskets in the second period to tie the count at 43 at the half.
Agro Industrial Foundation Sailors clinched the third place honor in the two-day tournament sponsored by PSC and backed by City Mayor's Office-Sports Development Division and sanctioned by Samahang Basketbolista ng Pilipinas (BAP-SBP) regional director Regino " Boy" Cua. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)