Mark Angelo Mañez

Central Visayas-Ateneo de Cebu hung tough in the dying moments to hold off NCR-Nazareth School NU, 77-73, and claim the gold medal in the Secondary Boys Basketball finals inside Marikina Sports Center, Saturday.

Photo Courtesy of Mark Angelo Mañez/Explained PH

Gilas U16 guard Jared Bahay fueled the Fighters' defiant stand as he clustered 17 markers, including the dagger putback with 38 ticks remaining.

Both teams traded shots all game long and connived in several game-changing runs. 

At one point late in the game, NCR led by as much as nine points, 62-53, before Central Visayas launched its choking defense while converting several key shots throughout.

Elijah Yusi led the Bullpups with 13 points for a losing effort. This will be the only time NCR lost in a crucial match after defending its title thrice since the 2017 edition in Antique.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Councilor Dondon Hontiveros also joined the big crowd and witnessed the impending victory.

Meanwhile, Central Luzon bagged the bronze after subduing Davao Region, 110-103 in overtime.

Edited by Diana Mae Salonoy