FORMER national champion Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis crushed University of San Carlos, 91-76, in an intense Sunday afternoon match at the Capitol Parish gym to hoist the championship trophy in the Cebu leg of the 2014 Seaoil National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) Elite League.
The Eagles’ balanced scoring spelled the difference as 11 players scored in a pivotal second-period surge which gave Ateneo de Cebu a comfortable double-digit lead it never relinquished.
Jan Jaboneta led the Eagles’ attack with 25 points to end up as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
The Ateneo power forward fired 10 of his total output in the final canto, where incidentally, he also got involved in a scuffle with the Baby Warriors’ Jean Antigua after diving for a loose ball and the Eagles ahead by 17 points.
The commotion ended with SHS-Ateneo coach Sai Bacalso and USC forward Kervin Villagracia getting thrown out of the game.
Arnie Padilla, son of former PBA player Onie Padilla and a member of the PH under-16 squad , added 19 points for Ateneo de Cebu.
Steven Co kick-started the run with two three-pointers in the initial 10 minutes of the game where the Eagles established a 22-17 lead, which ballooned to 51-37 at the half.
Scott Aying paced USC with 16 while Paul Galinato added 14.
Both the Eagles and the Baby Warriors will be competing against the best high school teams in the land in the league’s National Finals starting March 6.
In Division 2 action, San Isidro Parish School bagged the title following a convincing 69-58 win over St. Louis Mandaue.
Mark Labrador led all scorers with 22 points while eventual Most Outstanding Player Joshua Ramas chipped in 18.