E-Boys win!
(image from Pope Gumabao's Facebook page)

AHS 4E 99 over AHS 4BG 99, 60-54

"Defense wins championships," goes the oft-used sports adage. In basketball, this rings true, of course, since the team that is able to better clamp down on the opposing team's best scorers has a better chance to come away with all the marbles.

What happens, however, when both championship contenders are equally good on defense? For whom will Lady Luck smile? Who will earn fortune's favor?

If this championship game between 4E and 4BG will be our basis, then the answer is simple: the team that hits the biggest shots wins.

On this day, the E-boys were the ones who hit the biggest shots. On this day, 4E was crowned champions of the initial staging of the ABL's AHS Batch 1999 Division.

It was a tight game from the opening whistle, with both teams refusing to let the other have the advantage for too long. The E-boys started a little stronger, leading in the early stages. 4BG was able to trim the gap, though, and they eventually snatched the lead mid-2nd half.

Yong Gregorio anchored the slot for BG, with Clint Erestain patrolling the baseline. Kenneth Cordova and Joey Puno manned the wings, while Bam Mammuad harassed the opposing ball-handler from outside the 3-point line. This was the finishing five of 4BG 99.

Bajjie Del Rosario was his bull-strong self. Pope Gumabao was solid underneath. Bogey Bernardo was the chief slasher, while Angelo Cabalona and Pochoy Labog were the designated shooters. This was the finishing five of 4E 99.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair throughout the final frame, with both squads tightening up their respective defenses. BG proved to be the quicker team, making most of their points off the E-boys' turnovers. 4E, on the other hand, was much better in the halfcourt set, moving the rock around till an open man was found.

That open man was usually Pochoy.

And boy did he hit some big ones.

The lead singer of "Malay" hit two crucial long toms that helped extend the E-boys' lead whenever it seemed BG would snatch the lead.

Del Rosario, not to be outdone, also hit his own big shots. The former standout for Ateneo's Juniors and Seniors squads hit a double-clutch shot and another long-range bomb (with the shot clock winding down no less!) in the waning moments to seal the deal, and the title, for 4E.

In the end, it was 4E prevailed, 60-54, with Del Rosario leading the way. Bajjie netted 25 points to go along with 14 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and 1 assist. He was ably backed-up by Bernardo's 12 markers and 9 boards, as well as Pochoy's 11 points on the strength of 3 treys.

Yong led the BG cause with his double-double line of 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Erestain contribued 13 markers and 16 caroms. Cordova also finished in twin digits with 11 points.

4BG 1999 -- bridesmaids this year. How about next year?
(image by Enzo Flojo)

In the end, 4E just proved to be too much to handle. They converted on 7 three-point tries (compared to just 3 for BG), and made good 11 of their 22 free throw attempts.

The Mythical Five for AHS Batch 99 Season 2012:
Bajjie Del Rosario (4E) - 547.5 stat points
Marty Gallego (4J) - 435.5 stat points
Yong Gregorio (4BG) - 422.5 stat points
Clint Erestain (4BG) - 412.5 stat points
Pope Gumabao (4E) - 325.0 stat points

Congratulations to 4E and more power to Batch 1999!!!

One BIG Fight!!!

The Champs
(image from Pochoy Labog's Facebook page)
Some Stats:
Finals Statistics

Defensive Player of the Year Rankings

Stat Leaders for Points, Rebounds, FG%, and 3PT%

Stat Leaders for Assists, Steals, FT%, and Blocks

The AHS Batch 99 2012 Season MVP Standings

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