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HUGE RALLY

By: Calvin D. Cordova September 29,2016 - 10:15 PM

TEAM DEFENSE. Don Bosco’s JB Damolo goes for a floater in the face of University of Cebu’s defense, which apparently includes Baby Webmasters head coach Joever Samonte (background). (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

TEAM DEFENSE. Don Bosco’s JB Damolo goes for a floater in the face of University of Cebu’s defense, which apparently includes Baby Webmasters head coach Joever Samonte (background).
(CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

The University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters mounted a big fightback in the payoff period, coming back from 12 points down to frustrate the Don Bosco Greywolves, 75–70, in their do-or-die quarterfinal match of the 16th Cesafi juniors basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum, last night.

With the come-from-behind, the Baby Webmasters caught the last bus to the single-round semifinal phase, joining early qualifiers Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, University of the Visayas (UV) and Cebu Eastern College (CEC).

As the number four seed in the series, UC enjoyed a twice-to-beat incentive, but the fifth-ranked Don Bosco forced a do-or-die duel by taking Game 1, 77–64, last Sunday.

The Greywolves started slow, falling to a 0–11 hole in the opening period. But they appeared ready to complete a big upset when they led, 67–55, in the final 3:57 mark of the fourth quarter.

But just when everybody thought the win was already in the bag for Don Bosco, the trio of diminutive guard Gelmart Umpad, John Bryl Cuyos and Jumike Casera sparked a huge rally for UC, which held its opponent to a single field goal in the final six minutes.

With its defense tightening up, UC regained the lead, 69–68, in the final 1:26 following a Don Bosco turnover that led to a break away layup by Kyle Fritz Ordeniza.

That turnover was one of the three errors that Don Bosco committed inside the final two minutes — the last one resulting in a layup by Umpad that gave the Baby Webmasters a 71–68 edge with 1:03 to go.

Don Bosco cut the deficit to just one, 70–71, on a basket by Ken Gato. A split free throw by Casera gave UC a 72–70 lead with 47 seconds left before Don Bosco committed yet another turnover with 22.2 seconds remaining.

UC was able to fish a foul with 7.4 seconds left. Umpad made his free throw before missing the second. Casera got the offensive rebound and was also fouled.

He succumbed to leg cramps and was not able to take two gift shots. Yannick Noah was sent in to replace Casera, and the former coolly sank two free throws that iced UC’s win to the delight of UC alumnus Dondon Hontiveros, who watched the all-important match.

Hontiveros of the Alaska Aces spent his high school days in Don Bosco before moving to UC in college.

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TAGS: basketball, Cebu Coliseum, Don Bosco Greywolves

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