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ALIAC rallies to stun UA&P in ISAA opener

MANILA, Philippines – Host Air Link International Aviation College (ALIAC) essayed a 74-71 come-from-behind win against the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) to open the 15th Inter-scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA) basketball tournament in flying colors on Thursday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Gabby Faisan drained the go-ahead basket in the last 23 seconds as Jovi Manlapig hit the insurance freethrows to lift the Blazing Phoenix’s amazing comeback win over the Dragons from a double-digit deficit in the first half.

Faisan finished with 13 points and two steals, including the crucial stop that paved the way for his winner, as Manlapig had 16 points and five boards with Sebastian Santiago and John Allen Albit chipping in 16 and 13 points, respectively.

ALIAC’s win capped a grandiose opening ceremony of ISAA, which it is hosting for the first time featuring a total of 13 schools competing in different sports.

“It’s a fantastic journey for our school. It took us 40 years to get here and we would like to convey our appreciation to the ISAA management, its officers and board for giving our modest school the opportunity to showcase its abundant talent and skills,” said ALIAC chairman and CEO Atty. Gomeriano V. Amurao.

Amurao was joined by ISAA president Andie Cristobal as well as the officials of La Consolacion College-Manila (LCCM), Immaculada Concepcion College (ICC), FEATI University, Manila Adventist College, World City College (WCC), ICCT Colleges, Trinity University of Asia, Treston International College, St. Dominic College of Asia, Philippine Women’s University (PWU) and PATTS College of Aeronautics.

This season, ISAA has partnered with Sinag Liga Asya (SLA), which will broadcast the basketball and volleyball tournament, in a bid to provide further exposure and platform to the student-athletes with hopes of bridging them to bigger leagues in the future. 

“Hopefully, this will just be the start of a bigger partnership with ISAA," said SLA chairman Rocky Chan, joined by chief operating officer Leo Isaac.

In other games, LCCM fended off ICC, 76-71, PATTS drubbed St. Dominic, 68-48 and WCC trounced PWU, 76-60. LCCM also scored an 83-75 win