THE OUR Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) Phoenix lived up to their name as they “rose from the ashes” to beat the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers, 87-77, in the finals of the inaugural SBP-National Juniors Championship U-19 at the University of San Carlos Gym.

The U17 title, meanwhile, went to the St. Clare College (SCC) Saints, who nearly wasted a 20-point deficit but survived the Iloilo Commercial Central High School (ICCHS), 80-76.

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The Phoenix erased an eight-point deficit, 63-53,at the start of the fourth quarter using a trapping defense that worked for them all game long.

Phoenix’s defense allowed them to score 18 straight points to grab the lead for good.

It took UV four minutes and 21 seconds to score its first point in the final quarter, a split charity courtesy of Gerald Legarde.

UV was never the same again as the Lancers broke down into pieces and collapsed under the aggressiveness of the Phoenix at both ends of the floor.

UV was controlling the tempo of the game from the start but could not pull away despite the explosive games of Legarde, Edcor Marata, Christian John Fajardo and Glennson Ybañez.

But each time the Green Lancers tried to pull away, Phoenix came up with an answer.

UV scored an 8-0 run to close the third quarter after the game was tied at 55 before Phoenix intensified their defense at the start of the fourth.

UV tried to fight back but back-to-back triples from Romyl Jornacion doused their hopes.

Third place

Allan Jae Perea made life easy for Phoenix as he scored 22 points, Schever Anthony Benavides stepped up with 18 markers, while Bernabe Teodoro finished with 12.

Legarde scored a game-high 24 points for UV with Ybañez adding 13.

The Holy Child School of Davao (HCSD) Reds, meanwhile, continued their dominance over the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars with a 76-72 win for third place game in U17.

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) Aguilas defeated the University of San Agustin (USA) Eagles of Iloilo City, 69-63, for the U19 third place trophy.