Hope Christian eyes more cage glory
MANILA, Philippines - It came as no surprise when Hope Christian High School won the 43rd Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association-BonChon Chicken Juniors Championship.
After strengthening its basketball program in 2009 through the massive support of its generous alumni, including Hapee Toothpaste owner Dr. Cecilio Pedro, Hope Christian dominated the country’s most prestigious Fil-Chinese high school league.
It happened only last Thursday as Hope Christian cut a giant in Xavier School to size, 62-55, thus ending 20 years of futility.
“It was worth waiting, this championship is very sweet,” said team manager Bernard Yang. “This is the result of our massive and proper recruitment program and the support of our alumni.”
“I’m sure this championship will help our school in so many ways,” he added.
It was the third title in six months for Hope Christian after ruling the Fr. Martin’s Cup last September and the inaugural staging of the Philippine Secondary School Basketball Championship (PSSBC) in December.
Yang and coach Stevenson Tiu hope the title win could be the start of something big for the school which has the strong backing from Hapee, Jumbo Plastic owner Jimmy dela Cruz, Infinite Graphix, Oceanic Terminal Inc., Amazon Inc., Fruitas, Anta and Hope Christian HS Board of Directors.
One reason Yang and Tiu are upbeat is that nine of their present line-up, including Finals MVP John Apacible, will be back next year to help them win a fifth league title.
“Malakas pa rin naman kami next year, so palaban pa rin,” said Tiu. “With the support of our alumni, we’ll try to form a very competitive team every year.”