Ateneo de Cebu eliminates UAAP juniors champions Ateneo de Manila University
The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles showed the reigning UAAP juniors champions Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eaglets the door with a spectacular and gritty 72-70 victory in the Elite Eight of the SM NBTC 2018 National Championships last night at the SM Mall of Asia of Arena.
Errol Pastor, a member of last year’s NBTC Mythical Five squad, finished with 21 points and eight rebounds while Patrick Wilson Yu put up 18 points and six boards for the Magis Eagles, who will gun for a spot in the finals today when they take on UAAP runner up National University in the semifinal round at 4:30 p.m.
ADMU’s towering 7-foot-2 center Kai Sotto led his team with 19 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots but his efforts were not enough to lift the Blue Eaglets against the gritty Cebu team.
Showing no fear towards their much-celebrated sister team, the Magis Eagles got the jump on the Blue Eaglets with a 25-12 start to the game sparked by their relentless defense that led to numerous baskets in transition.
ADMU battled right back to bridge the gap to just two, 34-32, at halftime.
Ateneo de Cebu tried to pull away and built a 66-51 lead with 7:04 left in the fourth as the Cebuanos poured it on behind three-point buckets by Justin Javelosa and Pastor.
But the UAAP champions pulled to within two, 70-72, late in the game and sent Yu to the line with 10.5 seconds remaining. Yu missed both from the line, leaving the door ajar for ADMU.
After the miss, Blue Eaglets forward Jason Credo drove the baseline and attempted a reverse layup that missed. Sotto grabbed the offensive rebound but was blocked as the final buzzer sounded.
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