CEC Dragons grab crucial win over Ateneo Magis Eagles
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons delivered a crucial victory to keep their final four hopes alive by upsetting the heavily-favored Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles, 71-61, in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) high school basketball tournament on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.
The win momentarily put the Dragons in the No. 6 spot in the tightly-contested high school division team standings with six wins and three defeats.
Magis Eagles stay at No. 2 spot
Meanwhile, the Magis Eagles remained at the No. 2 spot despite absorbing their second loss with seven victories.
According to CEC’s head coach Mark Tallo, they’re crossing their fingers for the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Green Lancers (6-2) to lose against the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars who are playing as of this writing.
Tallo also saod that they must win against the University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters on November 23 to climb to the No.4 spot.
“It was a must-win game for us. We need to win our remaining games for us to make it to the semifinals. We beat Ateneo (SHS-AdC), now we focus on beating UC,” said CEC’s head coach Mark Tallo.
Lybron James tow CEC Dragons
Lybron James Lamo erupted for 23 points to lead the Dragons in their huge victory. Lamo unloaded 12 points in the second half that kept the Dragons ahead throughout the game.
Xerxes Yael Duran and Caelan Mack each scored 13 points, while Jyle Roa and Marvin Golong combined for 15 points.
Jared Bahay spoiled his 26-point outing for the Cesafi high school defending champions, while his teammates had a terrible night in both offense and defense.
Bahay even scored 15 in the second half, but wasn’t enough to give the win for the Magis Eagles that would’ve put them on the top spot of the team standings currently held by the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu Mandaue (UCLM) Webmasters (7-1).
Defense is key
Jelo Mar Rota added 12 points in SHS-AdC’s losing efforts.
“Sa tanan pildi namo, sikit kaayo, kasagaran pildi namo were from our errors kay inexperienced pa kaayo ang mga bata. Pero we learned from that mistakes, we minimized our turnovers, and improved our ball rotation and execution,” said Tallo.
(In all our losses, the game is really close, most of our losses were from our erros because the kids are still inexperienced. But we learned from those mistakes, we minimized our turnovers and improved our ball rotation and execution.)
“Karon among ball rotation kay smoother, we also played very good defense, mao na ang main reason nakadaog mi sa Ateneo,” he said.
(Now our ball rotation is smooter, we also played very good defense, that is the main reason that we won against Ateneo.)
Dragons led throughout game
The Dragons surprisingly led throughout the game. They built an 11-point lead, 36-25, in the second period and capped off the first half with an eight-point lead, 39-31.
In the second half, the Magis Eagles were able to cut the lead to single digits from the efforts of Bahay and Rota.
Still, the Dragons banked on their hot shooting and managed to bring their lead back to double digits, 57-45, and went on to maintain this en route to grabbing the crucial win.
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