DEFENDING champion Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu evened its record in the semifinal round as it outlasted University of the Visayas, 76-71, in the juniors division of the 13th Cesafi basketball tournament Monday at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Magis Eagles, coming off a 62-63 loss to Cebu Eastern College, flirted with disaster as they trailed for most of the game and faced a 51-58 deficit at the start of the fourth against UV.
But Jair Igna scored the decisive points during crunchtime including the go-ahead layup to save the day for the Eagles and keep their title defense alive in the double round-robin semifinals.
After scoring a combined 15 points in their loss to CEC the other day, Igna and Philippine under-16 team member Arnie Padilla exploded for a total of 52 points against UV.
Igna had 28 points, six steals and four rebounds while Padilla added 24 points and 12 rebounds.
The Eagles finally caught up and took the lead, 67-66, after a three-pointer by Igna. Ernesti Limitares briefly gave the lead back to UV with a midrange jumper but the Eagles retaliated with back-to-back baskets by Padilla for a 71-68 cushion.
UV made it 71-all with a three-point bomb by Theo Flores. But Igna had an answer as he drove along the right baseline and soared for a layup that kissed high off the glass and in to give the Eagles back the lead, 73-71.
The Lancers still had a chance at tying the game but shot themselves in the foot by committing a backcourt violation as a result of a miscalculated inbound pass by Flores.
CEC Dragons surged ahead in the race for finals berths, beating University of San Carlos, 79-72, for their second win in a row.
Mark Berdera led the Dragons’ comeback from a 55-64 deficit in the fourth, scoring eight of his 14 points in a 16-4 run that put them in front, 71-68.
Mark Roa scored 15 points, Alfonso Alvizo added 12, while Denzel Sabroso chipped in 10 including a three-pointer from the corner that sealed the win with 1:26 left.
SHS-AdC (76) - Igna 28, Padilla 24, Mayol 7, Jaboneta 6, Laguyo 6, Ecarma 5, Navarro 0, Huang 0, Lim 0, Mantua 0.
UV (71) - Manzo 19, Limitares 17, P. Cañete 16, Flores 12, Wamar 5, Escalona 2, Villamor 0, Silorio 0, Cabahug 0, Diaz 0.
Quarterscores: 21-24; 33-32; 51-58; 76-71.