UC Baby Webmasters end 10-year drought in Cesafi high school basketball
After a long 10-year wait, the University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters scaled the mountaintop to become the new high school champions after they knocked off the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers, 83-81, in Game 2 to complete a sweep of the Cesafi finals series on Friday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Baby Webmasters more than earned the right to sit on the throne as they got clutch baskets from Marc Delgado and Isaiah Blanco, the son of Cebuano basketball great Dondon Hontiveros to put away the Baby Lancers.
The last time UC held the high school title was in 2008 when current Talk N Text star Roger Ray Pogoy still held court.
Jan Ranido, who was named Finals MVP, had 20 points, three assists and two steals for UC.
The Baby Webmasters were in complete control for most of the game, leading by as much as 21 points, 39-18, before the Baby Lancers made their comeback in the fourth, where they grabbed the upper hand, 75-73, after a pull-up jumper from Gabriel Cometa.
UC quickly responded with buckets from Joshua Gellacone and Blanco to regain the lead, 79-77, before UV lost star forward Joshua Yerro, a few moments later as he committed an offensive foul, pushing off Blanco on their offensive. The foul was a costly one as it was Yerro’s fifth and final one, placing him out of the game for good with 3:04 to go.
The Baby Lancers still hung tough as Popoy Actub canned a layup to pull them to within two, 77-79. Blanco, though, showed nerves of steel as he pulled up from beyond the arc and made a triple to bring UC’s lead up to five, 82-77, with 1:19 to go.
UV’s last try came on layups by Samuel Melicor and Cometo, the latter scoring in transition with 9.8 seconds left to pull them to within one, 81-82.
On their offensive, UC found Justin Mondares, who was fouled with 2.8 ticks remaining.
He made the first to give the Baby Webmasters an 83-81 lead before missing the second.
With no timeouts remaining, Actub grabbed the rebound and missed a heave from halfcourt as time expired, giving UC the title-clinching victory.
“It was all about defense. I told the boys we had to play defense even if our shots weren’t falling,” said an emotional Joever Samonte, UC’s head coach who finally won a title after previously losing two other finals appearances.
Gellacone added 13 markers for UC while Blanco nearly had a double-double with nine points and 11 boards.
UV got 20 points and 16 boards from Yerro, and 19 points and 11 rebounds from Actub. Cometa added 14.
Ranido, Cometa and Actub were all named to the Mythical Five while the University of Southern Philippines Foundation’s Rojan Montemayor and the University of San Jose-Recoletos’ Kendrick Abarquez rounded out the elite quintet.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.