Inihaw outlasts Ralph Cu's Angels to win the LSAL 2019 Championship


By Frank Leo Aniscal - Published April 4, 2019


Inihaw has shown the best 'Animo spirit' after nipping Ralph Cu's Angels, 91-90, to become the LSAL 2019 Champions at the Enrique Razon Sports Center in Taft Avenue, Manila City.

Giving their co-Lasallians the Finals treat they deserved to witness, the two best teams in the league got everyone holding their breath up to the final second as the game went to a down-to-wire finish. It was Roland Watts' split attempts from the free throw line that gave Inihaw a slim edge to win the championship trophy.

Inihaw spread fire on the floor as they heat up from all corners, especially in the second half, as their gunners delivered their roles efficiently. Karl Santos showed off his handles and had everyone inside the arena amazed by his crossover moves, leading Inihaw with 29 points, while the hot-shooting Watts ended up with 24 markers, including four treys in the third canto.

Jermaine Byrd's inside-outside game became another problem to the opponents as he tallied 23 points. Santos and Byrd gathered eight rebounds apiece. With the coveted title at stake, both teams refused to give each other a chance to build momentum in the opening quarter as the Angels only took a one-point lead, 21-20.

After Inihaw got a three-point lead in the 7:18 mark of the second period, Ralph Cu and Kendrick Ong responded with long bombs to put the Angels back on top through a 14-3 run, 42-34.

Ian Lipio then took care of the last two minutes of the first half to protect the eight-point deficit, 46-38. Making a spark for his team's comeback, Santos drilled three difficult baskets and located Watts at the three-point area, who made his defenders pay with two triples. Byrd also dropped a dagger as the lead was taken by Inihaw, 55-52.

However, Ralph Cu's Angels put up their own offensive run and eventually reclaimed the advantage. But Watts was not done yet as he flushed two more triples before the third quarter ended.


Inihaw led by three, 67-64. As the Inihaw trio kept on pouncing in the offense, they were able to keep Ralph Cu's Angels behind by two possessions in the last four minutes until the latter found an open window to fight back as Cu nailed cold-blooded treys and Renzelle Yongco completed a fastbreak to snatch a one-point lead, 90-89. Byrd and Watts split their free throws, enough for Inihaw to get back on top.

Yongco had two chances to lift the Angels but missed two layups, while Cu's last three-point attempt rolled out from the cylinder as the clock expired. Cu had a monstrous performance of 35 points and 15 rebounds, while Lapena and Lipio contributed 15 and 14 markers each for Ralph Cu's Angels. With this kind of game to finish the season, LSAL Basketball will surely become more exciting next season.

The newly appointed La Salle Green Hills Head Coach, Karl Santos, notched the Finals Most Valuable Player award in their title-clinching win. Everytime Karl Santos held the leather, people expected something explosive to happen and he never let the viewers disappointed as he put on a show to lead Inihaw to LSAL Championship. Bagging the Finals MVP award, Santos has attacked the basket ferociously, hit pull up jumpers, and had a good sight to locate open teammates for high percentage shots. He finished with 29 points and eight rebounds.