THE reigning Cesafi juniors champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles evened up the best-of-three finals of the SM National Basketball
Training Center with a hard-earned 84-72 win over the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers in Game 2 on Saturday at the City Sports Club-Cebu Gym.
After losing Game 1, 76-77, the Magis Eagles turned things around in the middle period then held off a late Baby Lancers comeback to pull off the crucial win.
Tournament champion will advance to the National Finals, which will be held in March.
Bouncing back from a dismal Game 1 performance, Cesafi MVP Jed Colonia led the Magis Eagles with 17 points, while Errol Pastor and Andrew Velasco chipped in 11 and 10, respectively.
Things looked bleak early on for Ateneo as it trailed, 5-17, after a blistering start by UV, which followed the lead of talented forward Jancork Cabahug who scored 13 of his 29 points in that stretch.
Ateneo regrouped and went on to seize the lead at the half, 40-35. Ateneo kept the pressure on in the third and uncorked a 15-3 blast that was sparked by six straight points by big man Wayne Bersaluna and capped by a three-pointer by Jeremy Nacua and a breakaway lay-up by Travis Mantua to erect a 55-38 advantage.
UV countered with a 19-5 run to pull to within three, 57-60, heading to the last canto but Alex Visser and Mantua teamed up in a crucial run that gave the Magis Eagles a 72-63 lead with only 4:56 left.