CEBU CITY —Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu moved closer to back-to-back national titles, downing University of the Visayas, 84-74, in the Cebu title series at the City Sports Club to claim a spot in the SM National Basketball Training Center National Finals.
Ateneo de Cebu completed the comeback from a loss in the opener of the best-of-three finals and now focuses on defending the crown it won last year by beating the San Beda Red Cubs.
UV won Game One, 77-76, before Ateneo de Cebu evened the series with an 82-74 win.
The match was close until late in the fourth when the Magis Eagles finally pulled away.
The Baby Lancers held the lead for the last time at 74-73 when Errol Pastor sparked a run with a bucket that put the Magis Eagles in front, 75-74, with 2:21 remaining.
Travis Mantua followed it up with a deuce before Pastor added another, bringing the lead to 79-74.
Free-throws by Alex Visser and Renzo Calumpang kept the pressure on before Mantua and Yu closed the game out and sealed the victory with a basket and a free-throw.
Calumpang scored 17 points for the Eagles, seven in the pivotal fourth highlighted by two three-pointers.
Andrew Velasco added 15 as Pastor, who was later named as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, contributed 14. Mantua played through a leg injury to tally 10.
It was a sorry loss for UV, which got 22 from talented forward Jancork Cabahug. Joshua Yerro was the only other Baby Lancer with a twin-digit score with 11.