SJI-Blue nips SBS-A for Condura Cup 10U-A A +A
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
IT SHOULD have been a walk in the park for St. John's Institute (SJI) in the Condura Cup 10-Under (10U) "D" League final. After all, the Baby Falcons were the NOPSSCEA defending champions and have swept the elimination.
Underdog St. Benilde School (SBS) may have no earlier plan of turning the table but saw an opportunity and were one minute away from an upset. Thanks to a couple of SBS errors and the Johnians survived a nightmare barely winning 63-59 to bag its second straight Condura Cup.
From a 9-6 lead the Hua Ming kids darted with a 6-0 run before closing the first quarter at 22-13. SJI continued its domination outscoring SBS 6-2 midway and settling for a 32-21 count at the break.
Then came in Bert Celis, Jr. who ignited SBS' own 6-2 spurt but could not shake off SJI 30-38. At the end of third canto, Celis blocking and scoring, took effect leaving the Baby Falcons enough breathing room at 44-38.
With open substitution in the final quarter, SJI were threatened more as SBS chips away slowly its lead and Celis finally made it 52-all with 2:59 left. Big Boy Baldonado took the game into his hands and shoved the Falcons to 56-54 with two minutes left.
SBS made it 57-all and took the lead 59-57. With a chance to increase the lead, Celis dribbled after a rebound, lost the ball and SJI equalized. Then Speedy Beronio, unaware of how much time left, decided to throw an airball from way way out, the leather off the mark, Baldonado grabbed the ball, was fouled and made both charities for the final count. With four seconds left, Celis heaved a desperation shot as the buzzer sounded.
BCAN president Bobby Tee thanked sponsor Condura and BUS Group adviser Bing Soyao who joined him in the award ceremony.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 20, 2013.