CEBU CITY — Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and University of the Visayas got ahead in the race for the finals berths as they beat their respective opponents at the start of the semifinal round of the Cesafi juniors basketball tournament on Tuesday at the Cebu Coliseum.
The semifinals is a double round-robin event.
The Eagles pulled away late against Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildkittens, 82-75, while the Baby Lancers manhandled the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers, 67-48.
UV and SHS-AdC were the last two teams to have won the titles in the Cesafi, with the former topping the 2011 event and the latter exacting revenge the following year.
There was no champion last year after the semifinals was abandoned following a legal battle between the Cesafi and the parents of former USC player Scott Aying.
The game was tied at 65, with 6:39 left when the Janjan Jaboneta-led Eagles unleashed a 15-2 run to create some separation from their challengers, 80-67.
Jaboneta had 27 points on 13 of 20 shooting, while adding eight rebounds and three steals to make up for the miserable six point performance of Fil-Australian Joshua Sinclair, who was saddled with foul trouble.
Andrew Velasco added 13 markers, while Pio Longa and Zach Huang chipped in 10 each.
Justin Jules Langres paced the Wildkittens with 21 markers.
In the other game, the Baby Lancers asserted themselves in the third canto with a huge 18-4 run to put the Panthers away. Ahead by only four, 34-30, at halftime, UV unloaded 10 unanswered points behind a stifling trapping defense that shortcircuited USPF’s offensive sets.
JC Escalona tallied 13 points, five steals, four rebounds and four of assists, while Orlan Wamar had 13 markers and three steals.
Jancork Cabahug tallied a double-double of 11 points and 15 boards, while Joshua Flores contributed 12 points.
USPF struggled to find the mark with JB Bahio the only player to reach double-figures with 16. Only five players managed to register points for the Panthers.
UV (67) - Escalona 13, Wamar 13, Flores 12, Cabahug 11, Schaub 7, Alforque 4, Borbon 3, Verano 2, Padilla 2, Morre 0, Loreto 0, Zenarosa 0, Oche 0, Maglasang 0, Cabañero 0.
USPF (48) - Bahio 16, Carbajosa 9, Alocillo 8, Avanceña 8, Obenza 7, Archival 0, Obales 0, Pasios 0, De Dios 0, Laudehr 0, Fermin 0, Delos Angeles 0, Cortes 0.
Quartersccores: 23-15; 34-30; 52-34; 67-48.
SHS-AdC (82) - Jaboneta 27, Velasco 13, Longa 10, Huang 10, Mayol 7, Sinclair 6, Araw-Araw 4, Calumpang 4, Co 1, Mantua 0, Chua 0, Nacua 0, Johnson 0, Visser 0.
CIT-U (75) - Langres 21, Pedrosa 17, Manatad 10, Berezo 10, Plaza 9, Acop 6, Hapin 2, Faunillan 0, Abinuman 0, Cortes 0.
Quartersccores: 23-22; 44-40; 63-55; 82-75.