UV small basketeers dethrone 2018 champions, La Salle, bags SBP national title
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of the Visayas (UV) certainly has a solid basketball program as they are starting them young.
The budding UV Baby Lancers compensated for their junior and senior basketball teams recent stumbles in the Cesafi by bringing home the title of the Small Basketeers Philippines (SBP) division of the 34th SBP Passerelle Twin Tournament backed by Milo which came to an end today, November 24, 2019 at the Dinggoy Roxas Civic Center in Roxas City in Capiz Province.
It was UV’s turn to dethrone the four-time defending champion La Salle Greenhills, 62-58, and improved on their runnerup finish last year.
This is the first national SBP title for UV since starting its age-group program in 2010.
Its Passerelle team, which didn’t make it this year, was the first to win in the national level when it bagged the Passerelle title in 2014, completing UV’s cycle of an SBP Passerelle double.
This same UV age group/grassroots program has produced the likes of Cesafi and UAAP basketball stars Paul Desiderio, Jun Manzo, Leonard Santillan and Royce Alforque.
Read more: SWU-Phinma dethrones UV
Bagging the national SBP title more than compensates for the runner-up finish of the UV Green Lancers and fourth place finish of the UV Baby Lancers in the recently concluded Cesafi collegiate and secondary basketball tournament.
Some of the members of the team were also part of the squad which won the Cesafi Under 12 basketball title this season.
Defense is key
UV dispelled La Salle’s height advantage by relying on its swarming defense which stifled the Greenies who only managed to spark a rally at the endgame.
UV had a slim one-point advantage, 16-15, going into the second quarter where they started controlling the tempo of the game and ending the first half with an 11-point lead, 35-24.
UV topscorer Denver Bisnar had exploded with 11 of his 18 points in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, UV continued to stifle La Salle with its full-court pressure with Mark Toring dropping 12 of his 14 points to allow UV to maintain its 11-point upperhand, 53-42, at the end of the third quarter.
But La Salle, the four-time champion, finally got back into the game by slowly cutting down UV’s lead inside the final last two-minute mark.
The nearest they got was at four points, 58-62, on a trey by Camilo Miguel Jugo Jr. with 19 seconds left in the game. And, it was the last that both teams could score as the score stayed 68-52 at the final buzzer.
Bryan Hachuela had 23 points that included all 15 of La Salle’s points in the first period.
In the Passerelle division, National University (NU) defended its title via a 91-55 routing of International School for Better Beginnings.
Mark Rainier de Leon led NU with 15 points while Cebuanos Carl Vincent Manding and Kim Tamayo added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Corpus Christi School of Cagayan de Oro took the third place in the SBP division with a 59-36 outsmarting of Berkeley School of Baguio.
Finishing third in the Passerelle division was Hercor College of Roxas after streaking past Xavier University High School of Cagayan de Oro, 67-61./dbs
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