THE University of the Visayas Baby Lancers are king of the high school basketball once again after dethroning the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles, 72-67, in Game 2 to sweep the best-of-3 championship series of the 2017 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) high school basketball finals last night at the Cebu Coliseum.
This is the first title of the Baby Lancers since the Andres Paul Desiderio-led squad defeated SHS-AdC for the 2011 title. And this is extra sweet as the Lancers won all 11 games this season.
Despite the gallant efforts of the Magis Eagles, the Baby Lancers pulled through despite losing team captain Jim Paul Amistoso and inside operator JJ Rosete for committing their fifth and final fouls early in the fourth period.
“I thank the Lord for making this win possible. Gitabangan Niya akong mga players nga dili mo-collapse. Bisan nakalabaw na sila, naka comeback gihapon mi. At halftime, I told the players that defense will make us win the championship, ” UV coach Gerald Ylaya told SunStar Cebu after the game.
SHS-AdC started out strong, scoring the first four points before UV took the lead following a 9-0 run.
The Magis Eagles finished the first quarter stronger with an 11-1 run for a 5-point lead, 15-10.
However, that seemed to be the start of the downfall of the Eagles as the Baby Lancers started to hit their outside shots to neutralize the height advantage of SHS-AdC.
Froilan Maglasang sank two triples and Roosevelt Jelianggao made one as UV dropped a telling 13-2 run to regain the lead, 29-23, with 1:14 left to play in the second period.
A quick 9-0 run put UV up by 13 in the third period, 38-25, but SHS-AdC answered with an 11-0 run to make it 38-36.
However, UV recovered with Amistoso’s three-point play and Rosete sinking a triple with 2.2 seconds left to lead, 51-44.
Franz Diaz kicked SHS-AdC’s final push as he scored eight straight points from steals to regain the lead, 52-51.
However, it proved to be just a momentary slip for the Baby Lancers as they answered with a crippling 13-4 blitz for the pivotal run of the game.
UV’s defense held the Magis Eagles to a single field goal in the final three minutes and 20 seconds and SHS-AdC only had garbage points for the final count.
Despite making only 22 of 61 shots compared to SHS-AdC’s 29 of 79, UV made 21 of 39 free throws. UV also scored more second chance baskets, 28-13, that made up for the Eagles’ advantage in assists, 18-13.
“We put premium on our defense against (Christrian) Manaytay and (Jed) Colonia. And we put tough defenders against them who also responded to our instructions,” added Ylaya. (RCM)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 13, 2017.
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