The La Salle Greenhills Greenies made it back to the finals after another spectacular year by Joel Cagulangan.
The senior cager, who has committed to join the La Salle Green Archers next year, was MVP when he led the Greenies to the crown last season.
He is the season MVP once again and the Greenies could claim the crown again in the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball tournament.
It’s not over yet as the Greenies will still have to get past the Malayan High School Red Robins, whom they have to beat in a best-of-three finals affair.
So far, the Greenies took Game 1 behind Cagulangan’s heroics, and the last minute defensive efforts of teammates Joshua David and RC Calimag for a 74-69 win last Tuesday.
In this game, the 18-year-old Cagulangan, who didn’t expect get a citation, rose to the occasion with two other teammates in the final minute, with his triple in the final minute giving the Greenies a 73-65 edge.
Paolo Hernandez, who showed the way for the Red Robins with 20 points, then gave the Greenies a scare in the last 22 seconds when he and Jonnel Policarpio struck in succession to keep the Red Robins within range, 69-70.
The Red Robins had opportunities to win it after Greenie big man Mark Sangco bungled a pair of charities in the final seven seconds.
But Greenie cager Joshua David stole the ball off Policarpio during a rebound play, and RC Calimag went for a putback as time expired.
“That’s Joel. He’s ready to take charge, not necessarily with baskets, but in leading the path (to victory),” said LSGH Marvin Bienvenida on their first win against the Red Robins this season.
This season, a new set of teammates have joined the leaders of the team, and has backed up Cagulangan, and veteran cagers like Inand Fornilos and Joshua David, in their quest for a back-to-back title conquest.
With help from the likes of Batang Gilas standout RC Calimag, Sydney Mosqueda and Mark Sangco, the likes of Cagulangan, Fornilos and David were able to push the Greenies to greater heights once again.
Cagulangan stood out with his exceptional court generalship and shooting.”‹