UCLM Webmasters stun Magis Eagles, forge do-or-die HS semis
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu Mandaue (UCLM) Webmasters stunned the Cesafi high school defending champions, the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles, 55-52, on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.
The win allowed the Webmasters to erase the Magis Eagles twice-to-beat advantage.
It was a completely different result from their November 12 game where the Magis Eagles, the reigning Palarong Pambansa gold medalist and NBTC National Finals semifinalists, beat UCLM, 59-51.
The Webmasters of head coach Calib Gawangon were leading from the get-go, sealing the first half with a five-point cushion, 30-25.
They stretched their lead to 11 points, 42-31, on Revo Lao’s hot shooting. Still, the Magis Eagles of Rommel Rasmo managed to cut the lead in half, 37-42, heading into the final canto.
After a tooth and nail battle in the fourth, the Magis Eagles managed to cut their deficit by one, 48-49, with three minutes remaining in the game, from the efforts of Nikolas Yu, Gelo Mar Rota, and Alden Cainglet.
Still, Prince Mallorca brought UCLM’s lead back to three, 51-48, in the last two minutes from his jumper.
However, SHS-AdC’s Jared Bahay took advantage of UCLM’s foul trouble as the latter was already on penalty, sinking both his free throws to cut the lead back to one, 50-51.
Prior to that, the game was filled with tension after Lao intentionally fouled Cainglet hard while the latter was attempting a layup. Cainglet landed hard on the floor and it took a while for him to get back on his feet and continue playing.
That resulted in an on court ruckus sending Yu out for allegedly joining the fray, while Lao received a technical foul instead of an unsportsmanlike foul.
With a minute left in the game, Emmanuel Jabalon split his free throws for the Magis Eagles after being fouled while forcing UCLM with a turnover, tying the game at 51-all.
Not to be outfought, Mallorca made a layup, putting UCLM back ahead by two, 53-51. Still, SHS-AdC managed to put themselves within striking range after Cainglet split his two attempts from the charity stripe with less than a minute remaining, 52-53.
The Magis Eagles had a chance to grab the lead and win the game, but UCLM’s defense in the painted area forced Bahay to commit a crucial turnover with 14.9 ticks left, while attempting a layup.
That resulted in Bryle Diaz’s breakaway layup, giving UCLM a three point lead, 55-52.
Worse, Cainglet missed a wide open three in their last ball possession, while rookie center Lars Fiellvang missed both his free throws, resulting to their defeat.
Lao topscored UCLM with 10 points along with four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. John Sala, Arnold Miñoza, and Mallorca each scored nine points.
Miñoza also tallied 14 rebounds and five block shots.
Bahay finished with 12 points with four boards, and two assists, while Rota had nine and Cainglet with eight points. Rota also had five rebounds.
UCLM outscored the bigger Magis Eagles at the paint, 22-13, while UCLM’s bench stepped up with a whopping 32 points over SHS-AdC’s 13.
The Webmasters also made their presence felt defensively tallying eight blocks and 12 steals, while the Magis Eagles had 18 steals in their losing efforts.
The schedule of the do-or-die game between UCLM and SHS-AdC is yet to be announced, while the other do-or-die showdown between top seed USJ-R Baby Jaguars and No. 4 UV Baby Green Lancers is on Saturday at 12:00 noon, at the same venue.
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