BOGO City, Cebu, Philippines – Resilience and hard work were the factors that helped the UV Baby Lancers in beating the UC Baby Webmasters with a nail-biting 59-57 win in the Don Celestino Martinez Sr. CESAFI Pre-Season Juniors Division tournament held at the Bogo City Sports Complex.
The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagle for their part relied on their experience to stay focused down the stretch to survive the challenge of City of Bogo Science of Arts Academy (CBSAA) Trailblazers for a 58-53 victory.
UV and SHS-AdC are now with identical 2-0 win-loss records and barring any complications they primed to contend for the title in this short tournament that is organized by the City of Bogo LGU and sanctioned and supervised by the CESAFI Technical Committee.
UV was trailing the entire first half, including a 34-22 deficit before the end of the second quarter.
But the fluid game of UC started to crumble when UV raised its defense a notch higher in the second half.
However, UV’s choking defense need a full quarter to effect as UC managed to keep a double-digit lead until the end of the third period, 48-38.
Ryan Sinoy then orchestrated UV’s comeback as he opened the scoring binge while leading the team in putting pressures that forced UC to commit string of turnovers.
Adding to UC woes were the missed wide-open shots and poor shot selection.
The Baby Lancers held the Baby Webmasters scoreless in the first four minutes of the ultimate period while scoring 10 unanswered points to even the game at 48-all, for the first time since a 12-all deadlock back in the first period.
The Lancers wrested the lead for the first time 52-50 at the 4:42 mark before UC tied the game for the last time at 52-all, two minutes and five seconds later.
Franco Gabunada and Nathan De la Torre scored back-to-back baskets that put UV on a 4-point advantage, its biggest lead of the game, still with 1:42 left in the game.
UC on the other hand could not sink a field goal and had to make a living at the free-throw line. But unfortunately, they failed to capitalize the opportunities as UV managed to keep a precarious lead with timely baskets by Sinoy and Jordwyn Ampong kept the Baby Webmasters at bay.
UC’s last chance to reverse the outcome of the game was at the final 11 seconds, right after Allan Ray Gako nailed a catch-and-shoot triple that pulled UC within 57-58.
UC was given an opportunity to steal the game when UV opted for a dangerous backcourt baseline inbound, instead of advancing the inbound at their own sidelines. But they failed to trap UV quarterback with Sinoy wisely breaking the press and traps of the Baby Webmasters that resulted in Benedic Paca’s split charities at the final eight seconds.
Dela Torre managed to pull down the offensive rebound off Paca’s second free throw miss and
Sinoy led UV scorers with 14 points and Gabunada contributed 11 while Gako top scored for UC with 14 points and Glenn Contado and John Rick Cometa finished with 10 points.
Meanwhile, coach Rommel Rasmo calmly instructed his players to keep their composure after finding themselves trailing in the dying minutes of the third period up to the middle of the final frame.
The Trailblazers rallied behind its team captain Simon Maghinay and shooting guard Dale Otero who combined for 1 8of CBSAA’s 24 points as the home team wrested the lead 43-39 going to the final period.
This came at the heels of the Trailblazers lackluster performance in the second period where they scored six points en route to trailing 25-17 at the halftime break.
Batang Gilas point guard Jarred Bahay, Michael Asoro and Josh Go went to work for the Magis Eagles while the Trail Blazers failed to sustain its momentum leading to its second loss in as many games.
Bahay again top scored for the Magis Eagles with 17 points and Asoro finished with 11 points while Maghinay led the Trailblazers scorers with 17 points, Otero added 14 points and Karl Dosdos fired 11 points for CBSAA.