UC Jaguars repulse UB Cardinals to stay unbeaten
UNIVERSITY of the Cordilleras made key defensive stops in the waning minutes of the pay off canto and edge rival University of Baguio, 71 - 67, in the ongoing men's basketball of the Baguio - Benguet Educational Athletic League.
The men's basketball defending champion UC Jaguars squandered a 13 point lead in the second period and was staring at a one point deficit early in the pay off canto but got their acts together to stay unbeaten in three games.
After erecting a 34 21 advantage in the second period with 3:13 remaining before closing the first half on a 43 - 34 lead, the Jaguars slowed down in the third period as the UB Cardinals allowed only six points for the reigning titlist while scoring 17 points in 10 minutes to stay within one, 46 - 45, at the end of the quarter.
The Cardinals then took their second taste of the lead, 46 - 47 at the start of the payoff quarter but the Jaguars charged back with a four to nothing run to regain the drivers seat at 52 - 49 with 8:30 remaining in the ball game.
"I just told the boys to stay calm and relax, don't hurry your shots," said coach Albin Santos.
UC capped their mini run on a lay - up by Krenz Trinidad to put the Jaguars on top by five, 54 - 49, with 8:03 left.
The Cardinals however continue to fight back and stay within striking distance as it closes out the gap at 57 - 54 with 6:24 left before John Erick Victorio made it a one point affair, 67 - 66 with 30 seconds remaining.
Trinidad was fouled in the ensuing play scoring two for two from the free throw lane for a 69 - 67 count. Victorio was then sent to the line with 8.2 seconds left making one of his two free throws as Jumar Valdez wrapped up the victory for UC from the free throw area.
"We need to work on our stamina. Yun yung nagpabagal sa amin nung third quarter since may exam yung mga bata and malaking bagay din yung matagal na walang laro," added Santos referring to their last game on October 28 against the Pines City Colleges where the squad handily won.
Trinidad led UC with 15 while Bhanny Pederiche and Elefante chipped in 11 and 10 markers each.
Christian Danille Abo topped UB with a game high 17 as Libert Beejay Caccam added 15. Victorio, who opened the ball game with a three for the Cardinals first taste of the lead finished with eight points.
With the win, the Jaguars remained on top of bracket A tied with Saint Louis University Navigators with identical 3 - 0 record while the Cardinals plummeted to 2 - 2. Roderick Osis
EASY. University of Baguio Cardinals guard Libert Beejay Caccam scores against UC Jaguars in the ongoing eliminations round of the Baguio – Benguet Educational Athletic League at the UB Cardinals gym on Friday.