Mac Guadana and John Barba steered Lyceum-Cavite to a 74-71 squeaker over Holy Trinity College-General Santos to start their campaign on a high note in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals presented by SM Monday morning at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Guadana fired 24 points on top of six rebounds, six assists, and three steals while Barba poured 23 points, none bigger than his go-ahead bucket in the final 10 second to help the Junior Pirates avert a 22-point meltdown in the Seeding Round.
The win allowed Lyceum-Cavite to lock down the 28th seed, setting up a first round collision with fifth seeded Ateneo de Manila High School in the national high school championship sponsored by Chooks-to-Go, Darlington-Exped Socks, EPSON, Huawei, Freego, Purefoods, Gatorade, Go for Gold, SM, Molten, and presented by 5Plus and Lighthouse Events.
Kyle Buen still had a shot to give the Wildcats the lead, but went way short in his floater that led to Jae Omandac sealing the deal at the free throw line.
HTC-GenSan settled for the 29-seed after the loss and will meet 4-seed San Beda.
In other games, University of Baguio outsteadied Dolores National High School-Eastern Samar, 68-56, to claim the 27-seed; Narvacan National High School-Candon stunned Isabella Colleges-Cauayan, 80-74, to lock down the 25-seed; and Sta. Clarita International School-Iloilo fought back to frustrate Zamboanga del Sur National High School-Pagadian, 99-88, to clinch the 26-seed.The 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals presented by SM will feature 32 teams composed of league champions, perennial contenders, regional titlists, and a record-six international teams.
The tournament semis and finals, alongside the annual All-Star Game, will be aired live on ESPN5. All games, from the seeding round to the championship round, will also be streamed live over at tv5.espn.com.