EXACTLY a year ago, the Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons made a lot of buzz after losing to the University of Cebu Baby Webmasters, 159-28. A week later the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers made history for posting a 155-point win over the same team, 178-23.

Today, the Dragons are no longer the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) High School weeping boys but a serious title contender, despite losing to the Baby Lancers again, 81-76, at the Cebu Coliseum yesterday.

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If yesterday’s game was a barometer, CEC could safely make the semifinal round this season.

CEC was in control of the game early with Nike Montalvo, James Neil Sumayang and Roy Vincent Villarias leading the Dragons to an early 23-19 lead in the first quarter.

The Dragons lost hold of the lead momentarily when Gerald Legarde and Vincent Mendoza scored 15 of UV’s 22 points that gave the Baby Lancers a slim 41-39 lead at the bend.

CEC regained composure in the third with Sumayang leading the charge for a 59-55 count entering the final period.

However, as UV turned to its vast championship experience, CEC started to lose grip of the game after they failed to pas the ball to Sumayang.

Montalvo tried to carry the Dragons on his shoulder but the combined efforts of Legarde, Mendoza and Alwin Aguirre could not be denied and UV scored its second win after forfeiting its opening match to the Cebu Institute of Technology Wildkittens last Sunday.

Aguirre and Legarde scored 22 points each, while Mendoza added 17 for UV. Montalvo finished with 23 points and Sumayang added 16 for CEC, which is now 1-1.

The Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras picked its second win over the listless University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers, 80-59, last Thursday.

The University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors on the other hand rebounded with an 86-67 win over the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars in the other high school game yesterday.