THE University of Cebu Baby Webmasters handed the defending champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles their first defeat of the season via a frustrating 73-63 shocker. This put the underdog squad on the verge of winning the 2015 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) High School Division basketball title at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
The Baby Webmasters will try to regain the title they last won in 2008, in Game 2 of the best-of-three series while the Magis Eagles who are eyeing a grand slam title will try to avert elimination and forge a winner-take-all game that is scheduled on Sunday.
And who else would be credited for UC’s Game 1 feat than the diminutive spark plug from the town of Medellin, Gelmart Umpad, who stood the tallest despite being the shortest on the court?
Umpad may stand below five feet but he surely made up for it in toughness and heart as he delivered the kill for UC.
UC was tentative early in the game and Umpad delivered the first four points to keep them from being totally outclassed by the determined champions.
However, when coach Joevir Samonte activated Jason Abejo from the bench, things began to look brighter for UC, who rebounded from a 14-20 deficit in the first quarter and snatched the lead following a 9-0 start in the second period.
SHS-AdC took back the lead at 27-26 but UC dropped another telling run starting with Abejo’s four-point play and Froilan Mangubat’s triple to put the Baby Webmasters ahead 33-27 at the halftime break.
Things went well for the defending champions at the start of the third canto, as they were able to tie the game at 35-all following an 8-2 run. But Abejo and Mangubat each sank a triple to give the Baby Webmasters a 47-37 lead. Ateneo’s Jed Colonia stopped the bleeding and sank a triple at the sound of the third quarter buzzer.
SHS-AdC regrouped and behind the efforts of Patrick Wilson Yu, they narrowed down a 63-63 deficit to a 61-65 margin in the final 79 seconds.
However, Umpad proved to be the quickest as he delivered six straight points, including a breakaway lay-up and four free throws, before Mangubat went to close the match with two more free throws to seal UC’s victory.
Umpad scored 14 points on a 5-of-7 field goal shooting and 4-of-6 free throw clip on top of five rebounds and four assists.
But it was Mangubat who scored the game high 23 points, Abejo who missed the entire first quarter added 15 points and eight rebounds while Gabisan finished with 11 points before he was taken out of the game for leg cramps for the Baby Webmasters.