Capitol Parish Gym, Cebu City – The University of the Visayas Baby Lancers will be Cebu’s representative in the regional championships in Roxas City for the Milo BEST Center Passerelle Tournament after beating rivals Sacred Heart School- Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles in a thrilling final game, 56-53. The winner of the regional tournament will represent the Visayas in the National finals to be held in Cebu in December of this year.
It was the Magis Eagles who struck first outscoring the Baby Lancers 10-6 after the first period behind the efforts of Jed Colonia who outscored UV by himself with 7 points. The second period was even as both teams scored 12 points. Andre Chua had 8 points for the Eagles while Denzel Sabroso had 6 points to lead the Lancers. The score was 22-18 in favor of Ateneo de Cebu after the first 20 minutes of play. Then, everything went downhill for the favored Eagles.
The third quarter belonged to UV and John Clint Pacquibut as they totally overhauled the deficit by outscoring the Eagles 22-9. Pacquibut hit 3 three-point shots to stun the Magis Eagles-dominated crowd. He made the long range shots in succession to shift the momentum to the green shirts. He finished with 15 points in 10 minutes. UV led 40-31 entering the final period.
The final period started at a frenetic pace as the SHS-AdC team employed a vicious full court press that led to several UV turnovers and easy scores. They started the period with a 10-0 blast to take back the lead. Colonia had several steals and Andrew Velasco waxed hot as he scored 7 in the quarter. Fatigue may have finally caught with the Magis Eagles as the Lancers were able to employ an effective press break. The game was tied at 47-all going to the final 2 minutes. Ateneo had ball possession. Velasco missed his long range shot but Colonia was there to score the putback to give Ateneo its final lead at 49-47. UV responded with a booming triple from Sabroso to give the Lancers a slim 50-49 lead. Ateneo failed to capitalize on its opportunity as they gave up possessions and were forced to foul the Lancers. Gonzaga, Zenarosa, and Sabroso had nerves of steel as they hit their free throws giving UV a 56-51 lead with less than 12 seconds left in the ball game. Chua scored for SHS-AdC to make it a one possession game with less than 8 seconds left at 56-53. UV quickly inbounded the ball but it was stolen by Velasco. The ball ended up with Chen who had a good look for a 3-point attempt but the his attempt to send the game to overtime bounced off the cylinder and ended up in a UV player’s hands to end the championship game.
It was a major victory for UV as they rarely beat SHS-AdC in the Passerelle level. Sabroso and Pacquibut paced the Baby Lancers with 15 a piece. Eight other players scored for the victors. Chua, Colonia, and Velasco combined for 36 points to lead the losing team. It was a great championship match and the result will just fuel more fire to the budding UV-Ateneo rivalry in Cebu high school basketball.