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Landmasters/Bogo turns back UC/M.Lhuillier in Sinulog Cup

Virlo Orquez of UC/ M.Lhuillier drives strong during their game against Cebu Landmasters/ Bogo City last night at the Cebu Coliseum. Paul Jun Rosaroso

CEBU, Philippines — For a team that played together for the first time and didn’t get to practice together as a group too long, Cebu Landmasters/Bogo fared well in tripping University of Cebu/M. Lhuillier, 79-71, on opening day of the Cebu City Sinulog Cup 2018-Basektball Invitational at the Cebu Coliseum last night.

The team, formed in mid–December and composed of veterans and young players who met each other for the first time as teammates, proved that chemistry wasn’t an issue as they controlled much of the game before thwarting a rally to score the win.

The wards of Coach Junthy Valenzuela took a 36-25 half-time lead after a slow 10-8 first period. The lead stretched to 59-43 at the end of the third quarter before UC/M. Lhuillier staged a furious end-game rally. Applying a full-court press from the opening buzzer of the fourth quarter, the Webmasters went on an 11-0 run to slice the lead down to 59-53. Veterans John Abad and Jojo Tangkay then combined with import Prince Orizu to restore the lead for the Landmasters to double digits before another endgame rally by the Webmasters cut the lead to 74-71, 1:38 left in the game.

Tangkay, and youngsters Travis Mantua and John Reel Saycon iced the game from the free throw line. Orizu led the team with 20 points. Ferdinand Lusodc added 14 while the ageless Tangkay had 12. Frederick Elombi and Justine Dacalos had 23 and 21 points, respectively.

The Cebu City Sinulog Cup 2018-Basektball Invitational fired off yesterday with a goal to revive commercial league basketball in Cebu.

The five-team tournament, which runs until Saturday, also includes PBA D-League team Marinerong Pilipino, and local teams University of the Visayas/SG-ARQ Builders and University of San Jose-Recoletos/May Abohan. Councilors Jerry Guardo and Bebs Andales were the special guests at the opening ceremony where they declared the city’s support to bring back top-level basketball.

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Note: Travis Mantua (SHS-Ateneo de Cebu) and Virlo Orquez (UC), both senior high school students, gave a good account of themselves as they matched up against more senior players. (FREEMAN)

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