UNIVERSITY of the Cordilleras (UC) Jaguars doused cold water on a fiery fourth quarter offensive trust of the Baguio College of Technology (BCT) to retain the men’s basketball of the Baguio–Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) Season 31.
The Jaguars disposed a gritty Atom in their season ending best of three finals, 90–78, to claim its fifth title over-all in the largest collegiate league in North Luzon in front of a partisan BCT crowd at the CCDC Gym Friday evening.
After being bullied in the second game, the Jaguars took control of the ball game by pulling away in the third period and erected their biggest lead at 18.
“Talagang desidido rin ang BCT pero sabi ko sa mga bata, alangan namang hindi natin ide-defend yung crown kasi nung second game nasira yung laro nila,” said the two time men’s basketball BBEAL champion coach.
Santos added the squad had a better mind set going into game three and was motivated to win and retain the crown which evidently showed midway in the second period when they posted a 44–35 lead with 4:41 remaining before halftime.
After enjoying a 48–37 advantage going into the third period, the Jaguars ripped the game wide open and enjoy a 64–46 lead with 2:42 remaining.
The Atoms, who enjoyed the same advantage in game two, tried to play catch up basketball, slowly trimming down the deficit to within four, after unleashing a 32–17 run to pull them within three, 81–78 with 2:58 remaining as Reynil Amargo and Armand Pollante set the tone during their searing run.
Krenz Trinidad then split his charity for an 82–78 count before Gabriel Capitly scored two more at the free throw lane for an 82–78 count with 34.18 seconds remaining.
From then on, the Jaguars closed out the Atoms which stayed scoreless since the 2:21 mark of the final canto.
“Naging maganda yung team work namin kumpara nung Game 2. Magadan rin yung pinakita ng BCT sa series pero mas maganda lang talaga yung naging team work namin dito sa Game 3,” said Trinidad who finished the ball game with 21 points.
June Ric Buenaventura chipped in 16 points while Gabriel Capitly had 12 as Chester Elefante and Krisitian Valdez poured 10 apiece.
It was another sorry loss for the Atoms this time, who are in their fourth over-all finals appearance since joining the league five years ago.
“Kinapos lang talaga kami sa huli kasi malaki din yung hinabol amin kaya medyo naubusan,” said the graduating Azzir Rabara of the Atoms who finished the ball game with 23 markers.
Rabara drew support from Amargo who added 21 while Pollante was limited to 10.