CEBU CITY – The University of Cebu Baby Webmasters came back from 12 points down with less than four minutes to go to stun the Don Bosco Greywolves, 75-70, and catch the last bus to the semifinals in the 16th Cesafi juniors basketball tournament on Thursday evening at the Cebu Coliseum.
After forcing a rubber match against the fourth seed Baby Webmasters with a 77-64 victory on Sunday, the Greywolves opened the game with the same urgency and appeared to have the win in the bag as they led, 67-55, with 3:57 to go in the match.
But UC found their second wind and got huge baskets from John Bryl Cuyos, Jumike Casera and 4-foot-11 guard Gelmart Umpad who capped an 18-3 rally with an uncontested lay-up to put the Baby Webmasters in front, 71-68, with 1:03 remaining on the clock.
Don Bosco cut the deficit to one, 70-71, after a deuce by Ken Gato but Casera pushed it back to two by splitting his charities. The Greywolves then wasted their shot at tying or taking back the lead by throwing away the inbound pass leading to Umpad getting fouled and put UC up by three with a split from the stripe.
However, Casera tracked down the miss and got fouled. Unable to attempt the free-throws due to cramps, Yannick Enriquez stepped to the line and made two to seal the victory for the Baby Webmasters.
Cuyos topped UC with 19 points and six rebounds, Casera finished with 14, Ordeniza and Umpad each chipped in 12, while Luigi Kondrad Gabisan added 10.
UC now joins three-time defending champion Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, the University of the Visayas and Cebu Eastern College in the semifinals in a single round-robin affair.
Named as the Best Player of the Game, Umpad got gift packs from UC alumnus Dondon Hontiveros, who watched the all-important match. Hontiveros, the veteran shooter of the Alaska Aces, spent his high school days in Don Bosco before moving to UC in college.
Gato led the Greywolves with 19 markers.