A look back at the stories that made waves in Cebu in 2018
Didal makes Cebu proud
After bannering the Philippines in the 2018 Street League Skateboarding PRO Open in London last May, Didal made Cebu prouder by bagging the Philippines’ fourth gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games last August. She topped the women’s skateboarding street event of the quadrennial meet held in Indonesia.
Didal, once again put Cebu on the spotlight in December when she was named to TIME’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018.
Desiderio’s heroics in final year with UP
Paul Desiderio left his hometown of Liloan for the greener pastures of the University of the Philippines in 2012, not knowing what the future held for him. He came home in 2018 a legend.
Such is the inspiring tale of one Andres Paul Desiderio, who helped inspire belief once again amongst the Maroon faithful with his heroics in Season 82 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
A former Cesafi juniors MVP back in 2012 when he donned the Baby Lancers uniform, Desiderio helped capture the imagination of basketball fans across the country as he led the Maroons to their very first UAAP finals appearance in 32 years.
With his signature “Atin ‘to” phrase becoming a battlecry and a rallying point for the long-suffering Fighting Maroons, Desiderio etched himself further into the annals of UP lore as it was his clutch jumper in overtime that vanquished Adamson despite their twice-to-beat advantage and shove the Maroons into the finals, where they would eventually be beaten by their cross-street rivals, Ateneo de Manila University.
Desiderio would eventually get picked fourth overall by NLEX in the 2018 PBA Draft before getting traded to Blackwater Elite. The Elite has since signed the 6-foot wingman to a lucrative three-year rookie max deal.
Tabal pads Milo streak
Cebuana marathoner Mary Joy Tabal proved she is undoubtedly the best in the National Milo Marathon after she stretched her reign as the Milo Marathon queen for the six straight years last December 9 in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.
The Olympian and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist also made it to the Asian Games in August and finished 11th in her first try.
One of the biggest news in the local volleyball scene last summer was the transfer of University of San Jose-Recoletos’ (USJ-R) legendary coach Grace Antigua to the University of San Carlos (USC) Lady Warriors side.
As if that news wasn’t big enough, Antigua’s Lady Warriors went on to meet the Lady Jaguars in the finals of the Cesafi women’s volleyball tournament in November.
Antigua capped off her amazing year with a victory over her former team in just her first year with her new team. She described her victory as “bittersweet” since it also pained her to see her former players in tears after the well-fought series.
UV still kings of the hardcourt
People often say that 13 is an unlucky number. Not for the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers as the green machine rolled to their 13th championship in the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament last October.
However, the road to riches was laden with potholes for the Gary Cortes-coached squad as they lost key players to injuries right before the season started. The actual season saw even more injuries to key cogs of the Green Lancers but onwards they trudged, defeating bitter rivals University of Cebu (UC) in the semis before facing off against the upstart University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars in the finals.
The championship showdown went to a deciding Game Three where the championship poise of UV’s veterans, namely Rey Anthony Suerte — who was named as the MVP — proved to be the difference as the Green Lancers pulled off a 74-61 victory to complete a rare “three-peat.”
UC boys shock UV
The Baby Webmasters took cue from the “Strength in Numbers” mantra of the Golden State Warriors as they overwhelmed the Baby Lancers with their depth. With head coach Joever Samonte not hesitant to use his entire roster, UC capped the sweep with an 83-81 win in Game Two to give the squad its third Cesafi juniors crown and first since 2008.
PADS makes a splash
The Philippine Accessible Disability Services (Pads) Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team won again the 400-meter category of the Standard Boat International Paradragon Championships in the China Construction Bank (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races in Hong Kong last June 24.
The Cebu bets, thus, became back-to-back champions in the category.
The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) secondary volleyball program proved to be the best in 2018 after sweeping the Cesafi high school titles last November.
The USPF boys’ team dethroned the University of San Carlos in three games while the Panthers’ girls squad defended its title also with a hard-earned Game 3 win against USJ-R in the finals.
Mandaue is Gov’s Cup champ
Mandaue City ruled the inaugural Governor’s Cup 18-Under Inter-Cities and Municipalities Volleyball Tournament 2018 champion last summer.
Cebu Provincial Sports Commission (CPSC) Executive Director Attorney Ramil Abing shared that the first season of the volleyball tournament under the administration of Governor Hilario Davide III turned out to be very successful, capped off by a masterful 25-17, 25-20, 25-18 victory by Mandaue over the City of Carcar in Game 2 of the best-of-three championship series at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.
Tepora’s time to shine
Cebuano boxing sensation Jhack “El Capitan” Tepora prevailed in a back-and-forth battle to score a scintillating ninth-round technical knockout against the hard-hitting Mexican Edivaldo Ortega to clinch the World Boxing Association (WBA) interim world featherweight title in the co-main event of the Pacquiao-Matthysse world title showdown at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last July.
The 25-year-old native of Danao City improved his unbeaten record to 22-0-0 (win-loss-draw) with 17 wins by knockouts.
A year to remember for Rinna Babanto
2018 was definitely special for Cebuana taekwondo sensation Rinna Babanto. She qualified in the Asian Games and went home with the bronze medal in the tournament in the women’s team poomsae competition.
And in her last UAAP competition for De La Salle University, Babanto bagged two golds, including the Most Valuable Player award, in the poomsae tournament despite the pain she was feeling from a knee injury.
UC makes history
With Jessica Jawad-Honoridez at the helm of UC’s athletics department this year, the Webmasters were flourishing. Proof of this is UC’s reign in the Milo Little Olympics Visayas Regional Finals last September.
The Webmasters made history by sweeping the secondary and elementary titles of the three-day competition held in Cebu City.
Two titles in a day for Colina
Oliver “Bingbing” Donaire Colina capped an already successful 2018 by coaching the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles to the Under 18 Boys title and the Leylam FC to its third Men’s Open title of the Aboitiz Football Cup last December 16.
After helping Ateneo clinched their title, the softspoken coach just rested for 30 minutes before coaching Leylam FC to the crown.
He also coached Ateneo to the 2018 Cesafi secondary title last November and Mandaue City manned by Ateneo players to the CVIRAA title early 2018.
Cebuana sets record in freediving
Cebuana Freediver Maria Noella “Wei” Zosa posted a new national deep dive record after achieving a deeper dive of 51 meters in the International Sabang Freediving Competition in Indonesia last November.
She broke the deepest national 48-meter deep dive record in the Constant Weight discipline.
USC three-peat in Cesafi college football
After a shaky start, the University of San Carlos Warriors finally showed what champions are made of after winning their third straight Cesafi men’s football title last November despite missing three players.
The Warriors won via a 1-0 edging of the University of the Visayas Green Booters who advanced to the finals for the first time after 10 years.
It was the Warriors sixth title after winning it in 2006, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
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