CESAFI: Juniors teams steal show with Cebu thrillers
CEBU CITY, Philippines - The junior teams stole the show in the August 29, Saturday games of the ongoing men's basketball tournament of the 15th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) held at the Cebu Coliseum with the University of Cebu (UC) Junior Webmasters eking out a heart-stopping 66-65 victory over the Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons.
As if that was not enough, the Cebu Institute of Technology University (CITU) Wildkittens earned its second victory via an upset of the University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors, 55-50, while the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers savored a lopsided 87-65 win over the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers.
In the only collegiate game of the day, the comebacking older USPF Panthers did not fare any better as they ended their first round campaign winless after suffering an 86-60 demolition orchestrated by the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) Jaguars, who closed out their campaign with a 2-4 win-loss record.
Junior Webmasters' Froilan Mangubat was named best player as he topscored with 19 points before he had to be helped off the court due to cramps with just one minute left in the ballgame. He also pulled down 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 steals and 2 blocks.
The Junior Webmaster survived a CEC Dragons onslaught headed by John Lloyd Canoy and John Vincent Galarse at the two-minute mark.
With just seconds remaining, Canoy went for a layup after receiving a pass from Galarse and brought down UC's lead to 3 points. UC then promptly turned the ball back over. Galarse took advantage to bring the CEC Dragons closer at just a point, 65-66.
The Dragons managed to steal possession back but Canoy's attempted game-winner glanced off the rim of the ring, allowing UC to breathe easier at the sound of the buzzer.
The win is the third straight win in-a-row for the UC Junior Webmasters after suffering its second loss inflicted by the USPF Baby Panthers, giving them a total of 5 wins and 2 losses. CEC Dragons, on the other hand, has yet to stop its slump with now 5 losses and just a single win. They now face elimination in the tournament as they only have two remaining games left.
The other nailbiting game saw the USC Baby Warriors absorbing its first loss in the season after the CITU Wildkittens held them off inside the last two-minute mark.
With a little more than a minute left, Baby Warriors' Garrick Bande split his charities to tie the game at 50-all. Jasper Berezo answered with a layup to hand the Wildkittens the lead, 52-50. He then immediately grabbed the rebound after Bande missed his 3-point attempt earning a foul from Briedyn Aleyth Smith.
Berezo sank one of his gift shots for a 53-50. USC still had a chance as the seconds were trickling out, however, the Baby Warriors committed another foul, this time on Kirk Suson who was receiving a pass from Marion Abinuman, who managed to steal the ball from a desperate USC.
Suson then converted both his free throws and sealed the win for the CITU Wildkittens.
Berezo appropriately earned the best player tag with his 23 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals.
The loss hands USC a 4-1 win-loss card while the CITU improved to 2-4.
The other remaining junior match saw the UV Baby Lancers sharing a 3-3 win-loss record with the USPF Baby Panthers.
After trailing the Baby Panthers at 0-4 behind the opening back-to-back baskets of Allen Dave Peligrino, the Baby Lancers kept a tight grip of the lead, which ballooned to as much as 20 points on a Ramish Alforque jumper at the start of the third quarter.
The Baby Panthers did manage to come close at just two pints twice courtesy of Peligrino, 21-23, and Ain Obenza, 23-25, but the Baby Lancers answered with a 12-0 run on the combined efforts of Beirn Anthony Laurente and Joshua Yerro to put up an imposing 14-point lead, 37-23.
Jancork Cabahug was named best player as he topscored for the Baby Lancers with 20 points. He also dominated the paint with 18 rebounds and managed 3 steals.
In the collegiate contest, the older Panthers also couldn't catch a break as they failed to clinch a victory in the first round of elimination.
The Jaguars dominated the ballgame after taking the lead at 3-2 and posted the widest margin at 20 points on Ralph Jude Dinolan's layup, 36-16, halfway in the second quarter.
Dinolan, who scattered a total of 15 points, was named best player after a dominant performance in the second half that saw him pulling down 9 rebounds and managing 2 assists and 2 steals.
First round winds down
Meanwhile, the August 30 schedule promises to be another one for the books with last year's finalists, defending champion Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras going up against first runnerup USC Warriors.
The Cobras, whose roster cut down to just 9 players, will try to avenge their earlier loss at the hands of the Warriors, a 64-76 defeat on August 2. The Warriors not only have a full 15-man lineup but also enjoy the services of Cameroonian Shooster Olago, who has been instrumental in USC finishing the first round of elimination undefeated.
SWU Cobras have one more game to play, against UC Webmasters, in the first round. This game they would have played last August 22. However, it was rescheduled because of the visit of Mar Roxas, who used the Cebu Coliseum for a gathering.
Now their final game of the first round will be played on September 3.
SWU will have to find a way around the big men of USC especially containing Olago who exploded with 21 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in their first meeting. Olago, however, will be the least of their problems with Charles Pepito also dominating the boards as well as Ian Jefferson Tagapan who has the propensity to rain shots from the arc.
The boys of coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba must make sure to limit their mistakes against the boys of coach Britt Reroma for a chance at a victory.
The other collegiate match will also keep spectators on the edge of their seats as it pits the UV Green Lancers against the CITU Wildcats.
While UV also has an import in Steve Cedrick Akomo, CITU also has Joshua Romelle Dela Cerna, last year's leader in points.
It will be the first time that these two teams will play against each other as CITU forfeited in their first round game after they were not able to submit their ECG results in time for their first game then.
Schedule - August 30, Sunday at Cebu Coliseum
1 PM – USJR vs DBTC (Juniors)
2:30 PM – UC vs SHS-AdC (Juniors)
4 PM – CITU vs UV (Seniors)
5:30 PM – SWU vs USC (Seniors)
UC (66) - Mangubat 19, Cuyos 17, Abejo 10, Soco 6, Umpad 6, Gabisan 4, Malubay 2, Hemida 2, Florita 0, Labrada 0, Santome 0, Cabansay 0, Ecal 0.
CEC (65) - Orillaneda 17, Tempra 14, Galarse 13, Canoy 6, Leopoldo 5, A. Roa 5, M. Casio 3, Tecson 2, Astillero 0, Abarquez 0, Tiu 0.
Quarter Scores: 22-9; 38-26; 52-39; 66-65.
UV (87) - Cabahug 20, Ra. Alforque 17, Laurente 14, Yerro 10, Maglasang 7, Oche 6, Amistoso 5, Membrano 4, Saliot 4, Ro. Alforque 0, Paraldo 0, Padilla 0.
USPF (65) - Archival 14, Obenza 11, Macalam 10, Cometa 8, Lequin 8, Peligrino 6, Fermin 6, Sandoval 2, Hernando 0, Ybañez 0, Soon 0, Tajo 0, Urot 0, Laudehr 0.
Quarter Scores: 14-8; 39-27; 58-40; 87-65.
CIT-U (55) - Berezo 23, Abinuman 12, Suson 8, Ares 6, Villarico 4, Cabarrubias 2, Patrimonio 0, Tarriman 0, Vallena 0, Colonia 0.
USC (50) - Gato 14, Smith 11, Bande 8, Laurente 6, Mendoza 4, Mangaron 4, Octaviano 2, Canieso 1, Chavez 0, Ranuco 0, Damolo 0, Fontanosa 0, Macandog 0.
Quarter Scores: 8-12; 31-22; 41-33; 55-50.
USJ-R (86) - Dinolan 15, Peromingan 14, Villafranca 14, Mantilla 13, Gastador 10, Navarra 7, Bayhonan 4, Senining 3, Paon 2.
USPF (60) - Borces 18, Ceniza 10, Bajamunde 9, Patalinghug 9, Avanceña 5, Sastrillas 5, Villamor 2, Quiachon 1, Silorio 1, Bolivar 0, Laver 0, Langahin 0.
Quarter Scores: 23-5; 38-23; 62-43; 86-60.