Jaguars are back to back BBEAL basketball champs-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
UNIVERSITY of the Cordilleras completed another stellar performance in Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League season 26 by winning their second straight title in the coveted men’s basketball tournament.
The Jaguars fended off a late rally by the University of Baguio Cardinals, 70–62, in a no more tomorrow game three to close out the series at the neutral SLU Burgos Gym after both squads splits the first two games.
“Fulfilling para sa akin eto kasi nga rookie ako kaya masayang-masaya kami ngayon at nakumpleto naming yung back-to-back champion na inaasam namin,” said a jubilant and teary eyed coach Haynes Acdong.
From a 0-2 count early in the opening canto, the Jaguars waxed hot since to enjoy a 17-4 advantage led by play maker Leilmar Garcia who finished with 20 points including three assists, four steals, and three rebounds.
“Masama yung laro namin nung second game kaya sinabi ko sa kanila na mag focus na lang sa laro at huwag ng pansinin kung ano man ang tawag ng mga referee,” quipped Garcia, who is now on his final playing year as a Jaguar.
The 20-year-old Business Administration student was also instrumental in dousing cold water to every Cardinals run during the early goings of the ball game, making sure the Jaguars took command of the ball game and enjoy a 37-28 advantage at the close of the second quarter.
But the 21-time champion Cardinals did not go down without a fight as it stormed back and cut the deficit to six, 50-46, at the end of the third canto.
The lead was then eventually cut down to two, thanks to Cardinal backcourt general Kevin Orduna, who rallied the comeback and made the ball game close at 52-50 with 7:57 remaining.
That rally was later on doused as JP Juralbal and Garcia took turns in making the Cardinals pay at the offensive play for a 12-4 run to put the Jaguars on top by 10, 64-54, with 3:08 remaining in the ball game.
Juralbal, who had a four of six shooting from the three-point territory in game one, had to settle for 10 points on a 1 of 5 shooting from beyond the arc.
“Nadepensahan ako ng maayos nung game 2 kaya etong game 3 eh di ko nainisip na umiskos basta ang importante eh maka score yung mga teammate ko,” said Juralbal, who took a two-year leave of absence in the BBEAL.
“Nung last year, pinapanuod ko yung buong team sa bench na nagchampion at ngayon parte talaga ako ng team kaya tuwang-tuwa ako,” said the 2nd year Education student.
Orduna finished with a game high of 27 points on a 6 of 11 shooting from the three-point area, while Kendrick Basan added nine points with seven rebounds.
The Jaguars came out the better team outrebounding the Cardinals, 34–22, and even out stealing the Gen. Luna based squad, 9-8.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, were able to outpass the champions, 12-5, and had the better percentage from the rainbow territory on a 10 of 25 shooting clip compared to UC’s 2 of 12.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 01, 2012.