Hustle Squad beat Mordeno Basketball Academy in overtime, 96-88, to rule the 12-under division of the Throwdown Basketball League recently at the Hampton Court in Hillsborough Village in Alabang.
John Andrew Mendoza made an impact while Rajko Manicad delivered some crucial baskets in regulation to lead Hustle Squad to its first Throwdown title.
Mendoza, a 12-year-old from Bacoor City Elementary School, knocked down a triple-double of 25 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals while Manicad, a Grade 6 student at De La Salle University Integrated School, added 16 markers, 10 rebounds and three steals to overpower Mordeno.
Mendoza and Manicad emerged as Most Valuable Player of the finals while the former also took home the season MVP honors of this event that is considered as one of the most competitive age-group cage tourneys in Metro Manila.
Also posting impressive numbers were Frince Espadon, Clancy Giann Rojas, and Adrielle Sayoc to underscore the dominance of Hustle Squad.
The 5-foot-9 Espadon delivered 16 points and 13 rebounds while Rojas chipped in 10 points and Sayoc added defensive muscles down the stretch.
Rojas and Sayoc made it to the Mythical Team together with MJ Umerez of Mordeno, Knox Rocha of MLO Basketball, and Zion Miguel de Roxas of Vizier Ballers.
Hustle Squad coach Ace Abuyen said their victory is a product of hard work and dedication of the players and cooperation of their players.
“The boys really wanted to win, so this title is really sweet,” said Abuyen following their dramatic victory over the powerhouse Mordeno side that was bannered by La Salle Green Hills standout Linus Labayani.
“But more than anything, our goal is not just to improve the basketball skills of these boys, but also to develop their attitude while instilling the values of sportsmanship, friendship, unity and respect. I think we were successful with that — and it’s worth more than winning a title.”
After Throwdown, Hustle Squad will be gearing up for the Dominance Premier Basketball League starting this Saturday at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay.