All set for PCYAA Season 5

By Henry Liao January 09,2018
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All set for PCYAA Season 5

By Henry Liao January 09,2018
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SEASON 5 of the Chinese-Filipino school-based sports league, the Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA), goes full blast with basketball action in the 18-under Boys Juniors and Girls High School divisions (after the 12-under Developmental and 14-under Aspirants and the start of competitions in Girls High School volleyball, table tennis (boys and girls), chess and debuting badminton.

Defending PCYAA Boys Juniors basketball titlist Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy is in a rebuilding mode with the departure of its top rotation players from last season due to graduation and other reasons. This development effectively opens the gates for the other schools to take a crack at Juniors supremacy.

The race is so wide open that the championship hardware can be snared through the flip of a coin.
Hereunder is a bird’s-eye view of the eight participating schools’ probable performance in the 18-and-under Boys Juniors basketball competitions (Part 1).

JUBILEE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY – One year ago, this team placed a strong third overall, giving eventual kingpin MGC-NLCA a run for its money during the semifinals before falling short by just six points (72-66). The Jubileeans had the league’s top scorer Carlo Lim (23.3 ppg) and No. 1 rebounder Lanz Tan (14.3 rpg, 15.0 ppg) at the time. With the departure of Tan to the college ranks, only the hard-driving Lim is back for his final year of eligibility.

It would seem that where the 6-foot Lim goes, so goes the team. Admittedly he can’t do it alone – no one from the other teams actually is capable of reaching the mountain top by his lonesome. Thus veteran teammates like slasher Kyle Barraza (Lim’s high-scoring sidekick during their Aspirants days), three-point threat Miko Lim, hefty Julian Evangelista and stoic-looking Janaro Bautista need to take some of the offensive load off the one-time La Salle Greenhills campaigner.

Burly Lanz is out but Grade 12 vet Andrei Yu, lanky but elongated rookie Kyle Ong, Marc Kho and even jumping jack Roland Roldan seek to cushion the loss of the double-double machine at the middle through a center-by-committee scheme. The supporting cast also includes Rhys Barraza, Justin Yulangco and Zachary Amin.

Jubilee Christian Academy must feed off Lim’s unadulterated energy if the host team is to challenge for a Final Four berth, let alone a Finals ticket.

SAINT STEPHEN’S HIGH SCHOOL – The Stephenians are making their debut in the PCYAA. But don’t let that declaration fool you as the team still has a potent roster sprinkled with several productive veterans despite the loss of three starters in tree-like Luigi Laroco, slasher and rebounding whiz Franz Yap and three-point hotshot Deriss Sabado.

This time, the new kids-on-the-block will rely on the steady and cool leadership of Grade 12 stude Sean Ng, a twin-digit scoring guard with moves inside and out.

Dustin Yu is capable of making an impact on the offensive end with his perimeter shooting. Speedsters Jastine Lao and Micko Tee can be counted for quality minutes at the backcourt and so does Karl David in the frontline.

But one Big Fella who needs to step up as a rim protector is elongated Peyton Chan, who has the size and athleticism to be a double-double (scoring/rebounding) producer. Bulky center Fildric Chu should get more playing time off the bench. The supporting cast also includes Kevson Lamadrid, Josiah Yu, Alexander Martin, Wayne Tan, Benedict Lee, Sam Cua and Carlos Chua.

While Saint Stephen’s fared badly in the Division A of the recent Federation tournament (beating only winless Pace Academy, 68-61, for its lone victory in six assignments and dropping a 83-44 decision to Saint Jude Catholic School), it remains a middle-of-the-pack unit that could crowd the other teams in the upper echelon of the eight-school competitions.

PHILIPPINE CULTURAL COLLEGE – How do you replace meal ticket Daniel Manalang (17.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 4.78 bpg), your Lord of the Rings for several seasons who has gone to college and is now an assistant coach with the team?

That’s a lot of numbers to replace, but life goes on in the Seagulls Nation as veterans like D’Lanor Angelo Tan, Michael Angelo Manansala, Jad Racal, Rafael Pangilinan and Gerwin Sevilla seek to make their own trail.

Tan (12.5 ppg) has morphed into a deadly three-point shooter who can strike anywhere on the 94-foot Uno High School floor.

Manansala (11.0 ppg), if focused, is a cerebral playmaker whose his crisp passes helped lead to scoring opportunities by his teammates and whose steals have often triggered transition baskets for Cultural. A 2014 Aspirants champion (along with Manalang, Tan and Pangilinan), Manansala also has the knack of putting up threes, if need be, and patrolling the inside with his acrobatic moves.

The hard-driving Racal is one guy who likes to pounce the boards for timely putbacks and Pangilinan is a Tan clone who can jack up triples in succession. Guard Bryan Gadingan, and frontliners Joshua Erfe, Jemuel Uy and Rico Wu (who returns following a one-year sabbatical) and youngsters Joshua Cabiltes, a double-figure scorer during his Aspi days at PCC; Kelvin Moya and Sean Adrian Carpio round up the Seagulls bench.

Cultural ranked fourth a year ago with Manalang around. A middle-of-the-pack team, the Seagulls’ chances of making it back to the Final Four remains just as bright this time.

(to be continued)

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