FOR the second straight year, the Cebu Eastern College Dragons shocked everyone in their Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. debut.

Last year, it was due to their lackluster play, resulting in a 131-point rout.

This year, the CEC Dragons pulled another surprise—a pleasant one that had everybody in awe.

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Everyone was expecting for the Cebu Eastern College to fail miserably but the Dragons disappointed them as they posted their first victory in the Cesafi, trouncing the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, 87-70, yesterday at the Cebu Coliseum.

“First win. What a great way to start the season,” said head coach Jerry Jaranilla.

The beefed-up Dragons showed spunk that wasn’t there before, which surprised even coach Jaranilla.

“We were actually surprised because we did not expect them to gel this well especially since we only got to play in tune-up games,” said Jaranilla.

Ridicule

CEC bore the brunt of ridicule in last year’s Cesafi, losing by more than 100 points twice. The team has since overhauled its lineup, getting the services of high school stalwarts from as far as Iloilo, Davao and Bogo.

“We have trained for a long time to prepare for this and we hope things work out well for us,” said Jaranilla.

Sammy Sia, team manager, said the tension started to build up as the Cesafi date came closer, only because a lot of people were counting on them to perform well.

“The detractors can say whatever they want. The team would rather think about those who are expecting for us to do well,” said Sia. “If we have redeemed ourselves from last year’s performance, it is yet to be seen. This is just the first game.”

It took CEC a little time before they could adjust to playing with a noisy crowd but once they did, they took the game by storm.

CEC first took control of the game in the second period behind Nike Montalvo, who scored eight straight points for 44-38 at halftime. Mark Olayon padded CEC’s win to 10, 48-38, when he scored four straight points at the opening of the second period.

Ateneo came to within four, 48-44, but CEC quickly answered and managed to pad its lead to 17.

Montalvo led the scorers with 22 points, while James Neil Sumayang and Olayon added 15 and 13 respectively. Adrian Muller topped Ateneo’s scorers with 18.