MANILA – Santa Clarita International School Primes-Iloilo settled for a runner-up finish in the 2019 NBTC National Finals 3×3 basketball at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
The Iloilo squad, which was led by Ralph Bajon, Franc Steven Tono, Jemar Cepriano, and Wilmer Dalumpines, fell short of a golden finish after a 21-19 loss to University of Perpetual Help-Laguna in the finals on Thursday.
The Ilonggos started the match on a wrong foot with Bajon getting injured with over three minutes into the match. But they remained on the lead at 14-12 on hits from Tono and Cepriano.
Iloilo was still ahead 17-14 with under two minutes in the game when Tono also sustained an injury, which Laguna took advantage of to complete the come-from-behind win.
“It was just unfortunate that Ralph and Franc got injured in the finals. But we are still happy with our overall performance here,” said Primes head coach Rodel Camacho. “No one expected us to reach this far.”
On their way to the finals, the Iloilo squad defeated the University of San Jose-Recoletos of Cebu in the semifinals round, 15-11.
They also beat Mapua-Manila, Zamboanga National High School and Narvacan National High School in the eliminations.
Iloilo was the lone Western Visayas representative in the week-long competition as Region 6B qualifier STI-West Negros University opted not to participate in the National Finals./PN