UB Cardinals are king again-A A +A
Friday, October 4, 2013
AFTER two frustrating years, the University of Baguio once again laid claim on the centerpiece tournament of the Baguio – Benguet Educational Athletic League season 27.
The Cardinals snatched their 22nd basketball crown after dislodging defending champion University of the Cordilleras Jaguars in a tightly contested 80-70 victory in their rubber match at the SLU Prince Bernhard Gym Thursday afternoon.
Despite trailing in the first three quarters of the ball game with UC rolling to a double digit lead early in the second period and later on in the third quarter, the Cardinals rallied in the fourth quarter to seal the victory that marked the return of former coach Joel Flores who took a two year respite.
“Syempre masaya, at binigyan ako ng chance na makapag-coach sa team lalo na sa mga players ko,” said an overjoyed Flores.
The Jaguars were leading by 10 halfway in the third period but the Cardinals, after making a huge comeback in game two, rallied to tie the ball game at 56 all going into the final canto of the ball game.
“Sinabi ko lang na lumabas lang tayo, maglaro lang tayo. Let’s just do our best manalo or matalo okay lang,” Flores told his players after the first half.
Flores’s words seem to have registered in every Cardinal as they came fighting back in the pay off period with score tied at 63 all with 2:20 remaining in the ball game on Jaguar Chad Russell Villanueva’s goal.
The Cardinals then let loose a 17-7 run in the final two minutes of the ball game to reclaim the basketball crown that was capped by back to back steals and fastbreak points from Samuel Ian Seña with 54 seconds remaining in the ball game.
“I told my players to just keep playing, sinabi ko first half palang yan suswertehin din tayo, we’re gonna set it up so nangyari naman,” Flores added who has now snagged his fourth basketball crown since becoming the top bench tactician in 2006.
Flores eventually lost the crown in 2007 against Cordillera Career Development College led by prolific scorer Harold Sabado and eventually defended the men’s title in 2008.
The former play maker for the Cardinals then snatched the title back in 2009 and 2010 with the help of guards Kevin Orduña and the sweet shooting Klayriel Elefante.
He took a two year respite with UC winning back to back titles under two different coaches, John Carlo Domingo and Haynes Acdong.
It was balanced scoring for the Cardinals as Noel Cathedral topped with 14 markers while Darien Ocassion and Kendrick Basan chipping in 13 markers each.
“Importante sa team ang laro na ito, gusto kong magkaroon ng graceful na exit,” said the graduating Kabugao, Apayao native Basan who is now on his fourth year taking Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Sixth and seventh players Aljon Macalintal knocked in 12 points while Seña added 10 to outscore the Jaguars bench at 22 – 0.
The Jaguars were in command in the first half of the ball game enjoying a 17 – 19 lead at the close of the opening canto and a 30-35 advantage at halftime.
Despite the loss, UC Jaguars head coach said their match up against UB was one of the most challenging games they had.
“Basically maganda yung ipinakitang laro ng UB and we appreciate it, ganyan talaga sa laro ng basketball may nananalo at may natatalo,” said a cool Agacer.
Villanueva finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and two steals to top score for UC who later on fouled out with less than two minutes remaining in the ball game. He also missed seven successive free throws that spelled doom for UC.
“Many noticed siguro na medyo hindi pumapasok yung freethrows namin, at simula noon eh medyo nagbago ang laro ng mga bata,” Agacer added.
Jopson Dail added 14 markers, with seven rebounds, two steals, and one assist while John Paul Jularbal chipped in 12 points.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 05, 2013.