THE Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles are but a breath away from realizing a dream that has eluded them for two straight years after they routed the reigning champions University of the Visayas Baby Lancers, 96-82, in Game Two of the 12th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) boys’ basketball tournament finals.
The win gave the Eagles a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five finals with Game Three set on Friday. They are eager to get back at the Baby Lancers who denied them the crown last year in a heart-pounding series that went the distance.
Big man Dawn Ochea put on a performance worthy of the MVP award that he received before the game as he scored 29 points, 15 of which came in the final canto when UV came knocking on their door. He also had 18 rebounds, three assists, a steal and two blocked shots.
The game was played tit-for-tat as UV came back from a 13-point deficit in the second period and were within just three at halftime, 37-40. But the Eagles went on a 19-2 run, and at one point scored 13 unanswered points that put them on top, 61-43. Gio Laguyo started the run with an acrobatic lay-up and was followed by a power lay-up by Janjan Jaboneta.
The wheels started to fall off UV’s wagon later as their star, Paul Desiderio was called for an unsportsmanlike foul for swinging his elbow in the face of SHS-AdC’s Jair Igna, while head coach, Delfin Pepito was slapped with a technical foul for excessive complaining. As a result, the lead ballooned to a high of 22, 69-47.
UV came within 12 on two occasions in the fourth period but Ochea quickly responded before the situation could get worse as he made a nifty lay-up off a well-timed cut and another basket off his own steal that put the lead back at 18, 95-77.
Fletcher Galvez added 16 points in a dominant show of force by the Eagles’ frontline. UV got 34 points from Desiderio but as usual, got little help from the rest of the team.
Ochea also got a spot on the Mythical Five team where he was joined by Desiderio, Cebu Institute of Technology-University’s Mark Kong, Cebu Eastern College’s Michael Balankig and SHS-AdC’s Arc Gabrielle Araw-Araw, who also snatched the Rookie of the Year award.