CEBU CITY – Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu survived a late fightback by University of the Visayas to win, 73-66, and bag the Cesafi juniors basketball title on Saturday at the Cebu Coliseum.
Joshua Sinclair, Janjan Jaboneta and Pio Longa led the way as the Magis Eagles won the best-of-three series, 2-1.
The Magis Eagles saw their 24-point third period lead chopped down to just three, 64-67, with less than two minutes on the clock, but Joshua Sinclair swished a fadeaway jumper to push the lead to five.
Jaboneta then hit four free-throws in the waning seconds to seal the victory.
The Eagles started strong with a 12-1 run, six coming from Jaboneta. Longa then sank three triples to help give the Eagles a 26-7 lead.
But UV slowly chipped away at the deficit with Escalona banking in a three-pointer from halfcourt at the halftime buzzer to pull the Baby Lancers to within 12 points, 23-35.
UV eventually sliced the deficit to nine but SHS countered with an 18-3 blast capped by a floater by Nino Araw-Araw that gave the Eagles their biggest lead of the game, 54-30, three minutes to go in the third.
However, the Baby Lancers had one more run left in them. Led by Escalona and Orlan Wamar, UV hit one basket after another and trimmed the deficit to just three, with 1:38 to go.
Fil-Australian Sinclair notched 27 points on top of 12 rebounds.
Jaboneta scored 16 points and had nine boards and was later named juniors division MVP.
Longa also played a key role in the win as he fired in five three-point bombs and finished with 18 points.
Sinclair joined Jaboneta in the Mythical Five along with UV’s JC Escalona and Joshua Flores and University of Southern Philippines Foundation’s JB Bahio.
Wamar led UV with 21 points and six steals but failed to protect the ball, turning it over nine times.
Escalona had 20 markers, nine rebounds and four steals. However, he missed six of his nine attempts from the free-throw line and had six turnovers.
SHS-AdC (73) - Sinclair 27, Longa 21, Jaboneta 16, Huang 5, Araw-Araw 2, Co 2, Mantua 0, Mayol 0, Nacua 0, Velasco 0, Gaviola 0, Johnson 0.
UV (66) - Wamar 21, Escalona 20, Cabahug 15, Flores 8, Schaub 2, Zenarosa 0, Verano 0, Morre 0, Alforque 0, Loreto 0, Oche 0.
Quarterscores: 26-7; 35-23; 57-40; 73-66.