Baby Lancers bag CESAFI ti­tle

Baby Lancers win first CESAFI ti­tle in six years via 11-0 sweep

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - Em­manuel B. Vil­laruel, Sports Ed­i­tor

End This of sce­nar­ioa dy­nasty, un­fold­edrise of newlast champs.night af­ter the Uni­ver­sity of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers sealed their two-game sweep of four-time cham­pi­ons Sa­cred Heart School-Ate­neo de Cebu (SHS) Magis Ea­gles with an em­phatic 72-67 win in Game 2 of their best-of-three fi­nals se­ries to clinch the ju­niors di­vi­sion ti­tle of the 17th Cebu Schools Ath­letic Foun­da­tion, Inc. (CESAFI) men’s bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment at the Cebu Coli­seum. In snar­ing their first crown since 2011 and sev­enth over­all, the Baby Lancers also matched the record of the Magis Ea­gles for emerg­ing as cham­pi­ons un­de­feated the en­tire sea­son with an 11-0 slate. Fur­ther­more, they be­came the first team to deal the Magis Ea­gles three con­sec­u­tive losses since the Ate­neans es­tab­lished a dy­nasty way back in 2012.

“I’ve won many cham­pi­onships al­ready with UV but this one is spe­cial for me be­cause we’re up against a strong team that have been dom­i­nat­ing­sev­eral years the now,” league said fo­ran ec­static Baby Lancers coach Delfin ‘Jun’Pepito Jr. “I did not ex­pect that we’re go­ing to sweep them but it’s re­ally our goal to fin­ish the sea­son un­beaten.” It was a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion in­deed for the Baby Lancers af­ter their ace play­maker Beirn An­thony Lau­rente romped off with the Most Valu­able Player award. “It’s our team­work that helped up get this tro­phy. We re­spect each other, we have trust and con­fi­dence with each other. And I thank God for all that we have achieved,” said the 17year-old pride of Bay­bay, Leyte whose tal­ent was spot­ted by the ea­gle-eyed UV scout Van Halen Parmis.

Lau­rente, who man­aged to fin­ish with 11 points and three re­bounds de­spite be­ing locked up by the al­ter­nat­ing de­fense of Koko Tua­dles and Jus­tine Javelosa, was joined in the elite Myth­i­cal Five by Chris­tian Manay­tay and Pa­trick Yu of SHS-Ate­neo, Arnold Dave Ando of the Uni­ver­sity of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars andVir­lou Orquez of the Uni­ver­sity of Cebu (UC) Ju­nior Webmasters.

Froilan Ma­glasang top­scored for the Baby Lancers with 15 points in­clud­ing a boom­ing triple and cru­cial free throws that broke the backs of the Magis Ea­gles. He also dished out five as­sists and three steals to the de­light of his proud fa­ther Jun­nel Ma­glasang who silently cheered for them at the side­lines.

Jus­tine Jake Rosete, who fouled out with still 5:24 left left to play, chipped in 14 mark­ers and seven re­bounds for the Baby Lancers, who mo­men­tar­ily col­lapsed af­ter tak­ing a 38-25 ad­van­tage early in the third pe­riod.

Fac­ing im­mi­nent dan­ger, the Magis Ea­gles staged a dar­ing counter-at­tack with ut­most sense of ur­gency un­der the com­mand of the hot­shoot­ing Franz Diaz, who un­loaded eight straight points as they wiped out a dou­ble-digit deficit and even­tu­ally seize the up­per hand twice, the last was at 54-53 count.

The steel-nerved Ma­glasang, how­ever, played the fire­man’s role by hit­ting a crisp 3-pointer to spark a 6-0 run that eased the pres­sure on the Baby Lancers, 59-54, at the fi­nal 4:38 mark.

The Magis Ea­gles stayed within strik­ing range for one last time at 58-61 as Ma­glasang and Joshua Yerro, nick­named ‘Wak­wak sa Ormoc’for his high­leap­ing abil­ity, made five of six free throws be­fore Jhiey Par­aldo banked an un­mo­lested layup af­ter pick­ing up the leather dur­ing a mad scram­ble to put the Baby Lancers safely ahead, 68-59, with only 1:19 left to play.

Ma­glasang and Roo­sevelt Jeliang­gao went only 4-of-8 from the line in the last 44 sec­onds but it was more than enough to cush­ion the Baby Lancers to a mon­u­men­tal tri­umph.

“We lost to a bet­ter team. My hats off to UV. They de­served it,” said SHS-Ate­neo coach Rom­mel Rasmo. “But still I’m proud of my boys. I know they gave their all. We just came up short this time.”

Alex Visser, who car­ried most of the fight forAte­neo when their star cen­ter Manay­tay ap­peared to be out of sync, scat­tered 14 points, while Diaz and Pa­trick Yu each had 13 points for the Magis Ea­gles, who were un­seated af­ter a glo­ri­ous five-year reign but with heads un­bowed.

PAUL JUN E. ROSAROSO

The UV Baby Lancers whoop it up af­ter com­plet­ing two-game sweep of the SHS-Ate­neo Magis Ea­gles via a 72-67 vic­tory in Game 2 to end their six-year ti­tle drought in CESAFI ju­niors bas­ket­ball last night at the Cebu Coli­seum.

PAUL JUN E. ROSAROSO

UV’s All-Star point­guard Beirn An­thony Lau­rente poses with pride af­ter claim­ing the cov­eted MVP tro­phy.

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