CEBU — University of the Visayas captured the Division 1 championship in the SM-NBTC Cebu League with a 92-83 win over the Sacred Heart School on Sunday at the Talisay City Sports Complex.
After ending the four-year title reign of the Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles in the Cesafi late last year, the Baby Lancers reasserted their mastery of the boys in blue, leading by as many as 24.
The Baby Lancers secured the fourth seed in the upcoming NBTC National Finals on March 19 to 23 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Magis Eagles still have a spot in the nationals but will playing as the eighth seed.
Jhiey Paraldo came off the bench and put up 17 points and six rebounds while Steve Nash Enriquez also provided a spark for UV’s second unit with 15 markers.
Tournament’s Most Valuable Player Joshua Yerro chipped in 13 points, four boards and three dimes even as Jearolan Omandac held his own against Ateneo de Cebu’s platoon of big men and nearly had a double-double with 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from long range along with nine rebounds.
UV pulled away midway through the second as Froiland Maglasang canned a three-pointer, Beirn Laurente and Enriquez scored in transition and Laurente connected on another triple to give the Baby Lancers a 39-24 lead.
The Baby Lancers led 50-33 at halftime before the Magis Eagles rallied to within seven, 78-85, after an and-one play by big man Alex Visser with 1:36 remaining.
They could not get closer, though, with Jed Colonia missing a layup, Visser flubbing a putback and Patrick Yu committing a turnover on consecutive plays.
On the other side, UV kept its cool and put the win on ice by making seven free-throws in the last minute of the game.
Visser paced the Magis Eagles with 15 points and seven rebounds while Yu, Colonia and Franz Diaz had 14 each and Christian Manaytay had 11 markers.