CEBU was looking for a different ending. But so was Laguna.
Smarting from an earlier setback suffered at the hands of Laguna, Cebu put up a valiant stand for all of two quarters before reeling back against a superior opponent.
Gio Calacalsada unloaded 23 points and MVP Frederick Tungcab added 15 as Laguna completed a sweep of the tournament, wearing down Cebu in the final game, 65-52, and capturing the 2013 Coca-Cola-PBA Youngstars National Championship at the Blue Eagle gym over the weekend.
Far from the rout that marked their elimination round encounter where Laguna blasted Cebu, 72-41, in a battle of undefeated leaders, the championship proved to be a thriller until Laguna decided it has had enough.
From there, it was only a matter of time before Cebu folded.
Throwing caution to the wind, Cebu took off, 14-11, in the first quarter and pulled ahead, 27-23, at the half. But as it turned out, all it did was rouse Laguna which returned to the court with burning resolve to avert a disaster.
It was the second straight final appearance for Cebu, which bowed to Taytay last year.
“We are extremely gratified by the conduct of this year’s Coca-Cola PBA Youngstars summer league. PBA’s partnership with Coke remains strong and vibrant as ever as we look forward to next year’s tournament," said PBA commissioner Chito Salud.
Ex-pro Gherome Ejercito represented Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito during the awarding ceremony graced by Salud and Atty. Adel Tamano, Coca-Cola Philippines vice president for public affairs and communications.
Calacalsada and Tungcab were later named to the Mythical Team along with Glenn Gallardo of Cagayan de Oro, Jun Keng Manzo III of Cebu and Desmond Santos of KABAKA-Manila.
Laguna (65) – Calacalsada 23, Tungcab 15, Abuhijleh 9, Moleta 8, Canlas, Sese 3 , Natividad 1, Aquino 0, Carreon 0, Estacio 0, Ocampo 0, Salisi 0.
Cebu (52) – Flores 18, Wamar 18, King 7, Manzo 4, Gonzaga 3, Maglasang 2, Balbosa 0, Baring 0, Morre 0, Oche 0, Silorio 0, Zenarosa 0.
Quarterscores: 11-14; 23-27; 45-39; 65-52