UC Baby Webmasters eliminate CEC Dragons in a thriller, keeping final four hopes alive
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters survived a fourth quarter thriller against the Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons, 85-84, to keep their final four hopes alive in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) high school hoop wars on Thursday, November 23, at the Cebu Coliseum.
The win momentarily puts UC at the No. 4 spot with seven wins and three defeats, while the Dragons wrapped up their promising season with a 6-4 (win-loss) record.
The UC Baby Webmasters will have to wait for the outcome of the final elimination round game between the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Green Lancers and the City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy (CBSAA) Trailblazers on Saturday.
UV eyes a crucial win in order for them to tie their record with the UC Baby Webmasters and determine their final four fate via Cesafi’s winner-over-the-other tie breaker rule.
In case the Trailblazers defeat the Baby Green Lancers, this will insure the Baby Webmasters the fourth spot in the final four.
During their game on Thursday, UC and CEC battled tooth and nail from the get-go as both teams’ respective seasons hang on a balance.
CEC went off with a blistering, 9-0, start, but UC quickly responded with a 15-3 run to grab a 15-12 lead and went on to finish the opening period with a three-point cushion, 27-24.
The Dragons fought back and turned the table in the second period by unloading a 16-3 run, to build a double-digit lead 40-30, anchoring on the excellent offense of Lybron James Lamo and Marvin Golong.
CEC capped off the first half with a considerable eight-point cushion 46-38.
In the third period, the UC Baby Webmasters came alive after erupting for a scintillating 31-15 run behind Mikyle John Lejarde’s hot shooting to grab an eight point lead, 69-61, heading into the final period.
The UC Baby Webmasters of head coach Joever Samonte further ballooned their lead to 13 points with Lord Tinajora topping it with back-to-back treys, 83-70, midway in the final period.
However, UC found themselves in trouble after they entered the penalty with CEC canning most of their freethrow attempts cutting the lead to just six, 79-85, with three minutes left.
Also, the UC Baby Webmasters suffered back-to-back turnovers which CEC exploited and turned into a 5-0 run from Lamo’s layup and Xerxes Yael Duran’s three-point shot. That cut UC’s lead to just one, 85-84, with 45 ticks left.
Both teams went on to suffer crucial turnovers and missed shots with the last ball possession pointing to CEC’s side.
With their season on the line, Lamo slipped on the floor while driving to the basket resulting to a costly turnover for CEC as time winded down.
Lejarde finished with a game-high 20 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc. Johncel Borjal tallied 17 points. Lourdonnie Cuyos and Tinajora chipped in 13 and 11 markers for UC.
Meanwhile, Jyle Andrey Roa and Lamo each scored 19 points for CEC. Duran had 18 points and Golong with 11 markers in their losing efforts.
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