SHS-Ateneo, University of Cebu set for CESAFI juniors finals showdown
CEBU CITY, Philippines - For the first time in 7 years, the University of Cebu (UC) Junior Webmasters will be making a trip to the juniors division finals of the 15th CESAFI men's basketball tournament after they outsmarted the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers, 62-58, in their do-or-die semifinals match Sunday, September 20 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
The last time that the UC Junior Webmasters won a juniors title was in 2008 wherein they defeated the UV Baby Lancers.
In the other semifinals match, the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles recovered in time to keep their record immaculate after surviving the challenge put up by the University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors, 57-54.
The Baby Warriors, who dropped all 3 of their games in the semifinal round despite ending the eliminations as the second-ranked team with a 6-2 win-loss record, will fight for third place, which will be a knockout game, against the Baby Lancers on October 3 while the Magis Eagles and the Junior Webmasters will begin their best of three finals on October 6.
UC Junior Webmasters clinch finals ticket
The Junior Webmasters relied on their triumvirate of Luigi Kondrad Gabisan, Froilan Mangubat and Jason Florence Abejo in clinching the remaining finals ticket.
Gabisan, whose two baskets inside the last two minutes of the ballgame allowed the Junior Webmasters to take a crucial lead, went home with the best player title. He dished a double-double performance of 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Junior Webmasters. He also managed one block.
Mangubat and Abejo contributed 14 points and 11 points, respectively. Although Mangubat was not hitting his treys, he made up for it by also grabbing 3 rebounds and 5 steals. Abejo, for his part, had 7 rebounds and two steals.
The Baby Lancers' offense became predictable as they repeatedly went to Raul Jancork Cabahug especially in the fourth quarter wherein he scored 11 of the 12 points that the Baby Lancers made. Cabahug finished with another double-double performance of 34 points, more than half of the team's final score, and 12 rebounds.
Both teams went for the jugular when they opened the ballgame with four deadlocks, one of which ended the first quarter at 11-all.
The Baby Lancers then raced to a 7-point lead at 18-11 in the second quarter but 3 points from Mangubat and a trey from Gelmart Umpad allowed the Junior Webmasters to close the gap at 17-18 with 5:10 remaining in the first half.
However, Cabahug got much needed help from Joshua Yerro and Marvin Rey Oche who sank a triple handing the Baby Lancers the upperhand, 31-25, at the halftime break.
Despite the deficit, the Junior Webmasters stayed calm and then slowly cut down on the Baby Lancers' lead until they were able to once again tie the game at the end of the third quarter, 46-all, on the two straight baskets of Johnbryl Cuyos and Antonio Labrada, Jr.
In the final quarter, the Junior Webmasters proved to be the more composed team as after the game was tied at 55-all right before the last two minutes of the ballgame, Gabisan swiped the ball from Cabahug and went for layup, giving the Junior Webmasters a slim two-point lead.
In the return play, it was Beirn Anthony Laurente's turn to lose the ball to Cuyos who fed it to Gabisan who promptly draw a triple play allowing the Junior Webmasters to pull away to a five-point advantage with 45 seconds remaining.
Cabahug brought the Baby Lancers closer at just three points, 57-60, behind but Abejo grabbed the rebound from a missed attempt of Mangubat to allow the Junior Webmasters to bag a finals ticket.
SHS-AdC Magis Eagles keeps record immaculate
Despite the game being non-bearing already, the USC Baby Warriors came close to staining the immaculate record of the Magis Eagles after taking the lead in two quarters, 29-28 in the second and 48-41 in the third quarter.
With the Magis Eagles down by seven points, 47-54, with only three minutes remaining in the game, Patrick Wilson Yu gave the Magis Eagles back the lead in one fell swoop when he exploded with eight straight points. He did it with back-to-back triples, drawing a rare four-point play on the second trey. He, however, failed to convert the bonus shot but he made up for it by grabbing the rebound and sinking his layup to hand the Magis Eagles a 55-54 advantage.
Yu's feat earned him the best player of the game honors. He finished with 10 points by going 2/3 in 3-point field goals. He also grabbed two rebounds.
The Baby Warriors tried to get back into the game but Alje Mendez missed his attempt with 51 seconds remaining. Still, they had a chance to take the upperhand when Eroll Pastor fouled Neon Aleikhem Chavez while the Magis Eagles was in penalty. Chavez, however, failed to convert his gift shots.
Phil Renzo Calumpang sealed the Magis Eagles win by sinking both his charities which he earned when he was fouled by Jholo Pakanna.
SHS-AdC (57) – P. Yu 10, Pastor 9, Bersaluna 8, Chua 8, Velasco 6, Colonia 4, Mantua 3, Manaytay 2, Calumpang 2, J. Yu 2, Visser 1, Javelosa 0.
USC (54) – Mangaron 9, Mendez 9, Chavez 8, Pakanna 8, Mendoza 7, Laurente 7, Damolo 2, Bande 2, Fontanosa 2, Gato 0, Macandog 0, Canieso 0, Smith 0, Ranuco 0, Octaviano 0.
Quarter Scores: 13-10; 29-28; 41-48; 57-54.
UC (62) – Gabisan 16, Mangubat 14, Abejo 11, Umpad 8, Labrada 5, Cuyos 4, Ecal 2, Hemida 2, Soco 0, Malubay 0, Florita 0.
UV (58) – Cabahug 34, Ro. Alforque 7, Laurente 5, Oche 4, Yerro 4, Paraldo 3, Amistoso 0, Balazuela 0, Ra. Alforque 0, Maglasang 0, Membrano 0, Saliot 0.
Quarter Scores: 11-11; 25-31; 46-46; 62-58. – Rappler.com