Jaguars roar to draw first blood-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
DEFENDING champion UC Jaguars thwarted UB Cardinals to start out strong and win game one of their best of three series in men’s basketball of the Baguio – Benguet Educational Athletic League season 27.
The Jaguars pounced on the first seeded Cardinals, carving out a 73-64 win despite playing in front of a hostile crowd inside the UB gym.
Jaguars veteran Chad Rusell Villanueva led his team as he came through with an MVP like performance as he finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks.
Head coach Joey Agacer said the win is a big boost for the team knowing they didn’t have the home court advantage.
"It is very important we secured the first game because nasa kanila na ngayon yung pressure," said Agacer.
"Kapag kasi napanalo namin eto mas makakapag-relax at magfofocus yung team, also with our advantage kasi sa next game nasa home court na namin," Agacer pronounced.
But Agacer said the team should not rest on their laurels saying, "Hindi pa rin kami dapat maging confident sa next game, baka maging masama rin ang epekto kung ang mga players ko eh masyadong mag-relax."
UC was never intimidated playing in their opponent’s court, as they toughened their defense and made an early 10-2 run in the first four minutes of the opening quarter.
John Paul Juralbal and Villanueva assured their team’s lead as they chip in 14 points to close the first period, 24-11, UC in front.
It was the same story in the second canto as UB committed turn-over after over with the defending champion applying pressure defense.
UB’s top rookie Tito Astrande tried to step up for his team driving into the basket with 12 points for the quarter but fell short of trimming the double digit deficit with the Jaguars enjoying a 44-30 lead during the break.
The Jaguars continued to shut down UB’s offense as they continue to trail the defending champion at 58-42 at the turn of the pay off-period.
The Cardinals staged a comeback at the fourth period as collective efforts forced to narrow the gap to only ten points with 8:17 left, 59-49.
But that was the closest the Cardinals could come as Jopson Dail took charge for the Jaguars snatching 12 rebounds to help UC win the ballgame.
"Pagkatapos kaming talunin ng UB sa game noong eliminations talagang pinaghandaan na namin eto, sa pagkatalo bawing-bawi kami ngayon lalo at natalo rin namin sila sa homecourt nila," Villanueva said.
UC’s Juralbal scored 23 big points while Dail contributed 16 with the Jaguars eying the second three peat in BBEAL’s history.
Earlier in the distaff, SLU Lady Navigators defeated UC Lady Jaguars to win game one in their best of three seires, 62-47.
Trisha Mae Costales fired 14 points including 13 rebounds and a block to lead the Lady Navigators while Catherine Camilo added 12 points, three assists, seven rebounds and a block.
Mayvell Dennis and Cheryl Magno led UC with 15 and 11 points apiece.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 03, 2013.