UCLHS tops NBTC D-League NL-A A +A
Friday, February 7, 2014
UNIVERSITY of the Cordilleras Laboratory High School Jaguars pounced on their rival Saint Louis Laboratory High School Navigators to claim the championship crown in the North Luzon Leg of the NBTC Elite D-League at the Engineer’s Hill covered court Wednesday evening.
The junior Jaguars defeated the defending champion in 74-66 victory in the tournament backed by MVP Sports Foundation and Sea Oil.
John Ric Buenaventura capped a 14 point outing while Mark David Ngfung added seven more points in the payoff canto to regain the lead and finish with a victory after trailing by one, 44-45, at the close of the third quarter.
Buenaventura and Ngfung rallied a 9-2 run at the start of the pay-off canto to regain the lead against the junior Navigators, 53-47, with 7:00 running down the clock.
UCLHS then extended the advantage as Robert Castro and Christian Valdez added another eight points to bring their team up by 12 points, 62-50, in the 4:10 mark.
But it was reduced to a narrow slit as Gabriel Capitly hustled 10 points including two from the free throw to bring the junior Navigators to within five, 67-62, with 2:15 remaining.
SLU-LHS tried to generate momentum behind Capitly and Ivan Jay Atijera’s lead, but it was stopped by the tight defense coming from the junior Jaguars crew with Valdez and Buenaventura chipping in the last six points to seal the deal for UCLHS.
“This is our sweetest victory this year, after losing against SLU and to land only second placers in two other tournaments last year this is simply a noble victory,” said coaching staff Rommillie Gonzales.
“We came prepared for the game, napagod na rin kami to finish second to them kaya we really took the game from them this time,” Gonzales added.
Gonzales said the team will make sure they continue their game plan for the Luzon finals.
“We were also in the NBTC nationals last season and we really miss to participate in it again this year, we will just continue to follow our game plans and as usual continue with our relentless defense,” Gonzales quipped.
Buenaventura was named most valuable player for the finals as he closed out with 16 points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists, while teammate Ngfung dropped 17 scores with seven boards and two take-away.
Castro scored a game high 23 points for the junior Jaguars including 16 made from the early two quarters to trail SLU-LHS behind at the first half’s buzzer, 31-27.
Capitly directed the junior Navigators with his 28 points together with eight he made at the third canto to gain his team’s first lead of the game, while fellow player Atijera converted 15 marks including four rebounds.
The UCLHS will match-up against La Union National High School for the Luzon Finals of the NBTC Elite D-League at the UC Gym 2:00 pm today.
Included in the UCLHS Jaguars coaching staff are head coach Jennifer Dindin and Ulyses Lawini.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 08, 2014.