Sweet sweep-A A +A
Friday, September 28, 2012
THE Year of the Dragon brings a string of luck to the Magis Eagles as the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu is now the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) high school champion.
Behind the huge support from the students, faculty, school administration, parents and alumni, the Eagles showed much determination to brave the final stand of the University of the Visayas Baby Lancers, sweeping their best-of-five series with a 77-72 win in Game 3 at the University of San Carlos Gym last night.
The game, however, was nearly marred by a walk-out when the blue and white balloons and a party popper of the SHS-AdC were preemptively released with still five seconds left to play.
It happened after Arc Gabrielle Araw-Araw stole UV possession and was awarded two free throws. The balloons were released prematurely, and Baby Lancers coach Delfin Pepito Jr. asked for a technical foul for delaying the game.
But as the game officials reasoned that the opposing team has no part in it, Pepito beckoned his players to leave the court.
Making matters worse, as the Baby Lancers were headed to the exit, a lone party popper exploded and showered glittering confetti on the floor.
Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. gave the Baby Lancers 20 minutes to return but only six players, including Andres Paul Desiderio, returned to the game, and most of them were crying.
At the resumption of the game, Araw-Araw calmly sank the two free throws that towed the Eagles to safety, and the entire gym erupted to celebrate the Eagles’ first ever Cesafi High School title, at the sound of the final buzzer.
Last year, it was the Baby Lancers who were celebrating when they defeated the Eagles in a deciding Game 5.
And yesterday, UV showed it was determined to stretch it to five games, building a 10-point lead in the first quarter before everything started to fall apart in the second period.
After leading 36-27, SHS-AdC dropped a telling 9-0 run to even the game at 36-all.
UV managed to hang on and was still in the lead until the Eagles dropped a 14-2 rally to gain control of the game.
The Baby Lancers made their final push and held SHS-AdC without a field goal for seven minutes in the final period to regain the lead, 68-67, outscoring the Eagles 12-2, in that stretch.
Araw-Araw broke the long silence at the 3:00 mark and UV could not hold on as Giovanni Laguyo scored on a fast break and Araw-Araw added two more to give SHS-AdC a 75-70 lead.
John Philipp de la Cerna scored the final points for UV in the final 27.6 seconds to make it 75-72 before Araw-Araw scored the final points at the free throw line.
The win kept the Eagles’ record perfect for the entire season, winning all their 14 games.
Araw-Araw again topped SHS-AdC with 18 points and Galvez contributed 16 while Desiderio scored 19 points, Ralph Jude Dinolan added 14 and John Carl Escalona finished with 13 for UV.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 29, 2012.