CEBU CITY — Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu is just a win away from a second straight title, surviving a physical University of the Visayas, 56-51, on Tuesday in Game One of the best-of-three Cesafi juniors championship at the Cebu Coliseum.
UV was called for four unsportsmanlike fouls but SHS-AdC kept its cool to pull away in the third and lead by as many as 14 points before making enough of their free-throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Pio Longa led the Magis Eagles with 10 points including two crucial triples, one at the end of the second period that gave Ateneo de Cebu a 29-26 halftime lead and another that capped an 11-4 run in the third that put them ahead by double-digits, 40-30.
Emilio Nacua added nine points, all from beyond the arc, highlighted by back-to-back hits from the same left corner at the start of the second half that sparked the Eagles’ breakaway.
Janjan Jaboneta and Fil-Australian rookie Joshua Sinclair each finished with seven points as they struggled to find their mark and combined to shoot 4-of-23 from the field. However, the frontcourt combo did the damage on the boards with Sinclair finishing with 19 rebounds and Jaboneta 10.
The Eagles led, 51-47, after a split from the line by Steven Co. But the Baby Lancers racked up points from the free-throw line to fuel their comeback. Eight straight makes from the line and a three pointer from Joshua Flores pulled UV to within six, 48-54, 41 ticks to go. But the Magis Eagles closed the game out with free-throws from Sinclair and Zachy Huang.
JC Escalona paced UV with 13 points on a horrid 4-of-18 shooting, Jancork Cabahug added 13 markers while Orlan Wamar had eight points on 3 of 12 shooting.
University of Southern Philippines Foundation copped third place, beating Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildkittens, 83-72. JB Bahio led the way for USPF with 25 points and 16 rebounds.
SHS-AdC (56) - Longa 10, Nacua 9, Sinclair 7, Jaboneta 7, Mayol 6, Huang 6, Co 5, Araw-Araw 4, Mantua 2, Velasco 0, Calumpang 0.
UV (51) - Escalona 13, Cabahug 13, Wamar 8, Flores 7, Alforque 3, Zenarosa 3, Schaub 2, Morre 2, Verano 0.
Quarterscores: 13-14; 29-26; 46-35; 56-51.
USPF (83) - Bahio 25, Obenza 15, Carbajosa 14, Archival 12, Avanceña 11, Obales 4, Alocillo 2, De Dios 0, Pasios 0.
CIT-U (72) - Langres 15, Manatad 14, Hapin 14, Plaza 12, Berezo 10, Acop 4, Pedrosa 3, Tabada 0, Montejo 0, Faunillan 0, Abinuman 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17; 32-38; 55-48; 83-72.