CEBU, Philippines- The University of the Visayas and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu scored contrasting victories in the semifinals to seal a showdown for the championship of the Passerelle division of the BEST SBP Passerelle Twin Tournament sponsored by Milo at the SHS-AdC Mango Campus Gym. UV hung on for a close win over University of San Carlos, 50-46, while SHS-AdC eliminated Cebu Eastern College, 59-40.
UV leaned on its comfortable cushion of a lead after the first three quarters, then had to hang on against USC’s fourth quarter rally to squeeze out the win. UV jumped to a 15-5 lead after one quarter behind James Zenarosa’s seven points. Denzel Sabroso took over in the second quarter with ten points including three triples for a 31-15 halftime lead.
The lead was at 40-26 after three quarters, setting the stage for either an easy win for UV or an end-game rally for USC. Slowly but surely, the Baby Warriors clawed their back into the game. Down 44-29, USC launched a 13-2 run anchored on Jholo Pakanna’s seven points to slash the lead to four points, 46-42, with 2:25 left in the game.
John Igot, who had six points in the fourth quarter, scored on an assist from Sabroso for some breathing room at 48-42 with 1:33 left. After Sabroso stole a pass and made a lay-up to make it 50-43, USC never gave up in a wild and wooly ending which has USC gaining their share of the breaks. Joshua Laurente made it 50-45 and was fouled on the play with 13 seconds left; but he missed his bonus free throw.
Neon Chavez got the offensive rebound and was fouled, but missed his two charities with 12 ticks left. Joemari Ranuco got another offensive rebound for USC and was fouled with nine seconds left. He made a free throw for the final score of 50-46. USC was one of five from the free throw line in the last 13 seconds of the game and missed a total of nine in the fourth quarter. Sabroso had 12 points to lead with UV while Igot added eight. Ralph Bande led USC with 10 points as Pakanna added eight.
In the other semifinal match-up, SHS-AdC controlled the tempo for most of the game but couldn’t break free from a tough CEC side until the final period. After taking a 13-9 lead in the first quarter, the Magis Eagles built a 30-23 halftime lead before stretching the lead to 45-33 after the third quarter.
They broke the game wide open in the final canto with Andrew Velasco accounting for seven fourth quarter points. Velasco led SHS-AdC with 17 points, while Steven Co added nine.
Vince Ryan Tecson led CEC with 15. SHS-AdC, which defeated UV, 50-48 in their group match, will face UV again in a replay of the 2011 championship game which SHS-AdC won on their way to scoring a second straight national Passerelle title. Game time is at 2:15pm on Saturday at the Capitol Parish Gym, right after the game for third place between USC and CEC.
In elimination round games of the SBP division, USC and SHS-AdC scored their third straight wins to remain undefeated. USC (3-0) cruised to a 48-15 win over UV (1-2), while SHS-AdC (3-0) stopped Don Bosco (0-3), 60-31. CEC (1-2) edged past USJR (1-2), 48-41.