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UV, SHS-Ateneo, USC make it back to finals

CEBU, Philippines — In a day of the expected and a surprise, the University of the Visayas, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and the University of San Carlos scored semifinal round wins to barge in to the championship of the 32nd SBP Passerelle Twin Tournament backed by Milo at the Magis Eagles Arena.

In the SBP division, UV survived the tough stand of Don Bosco Technology Center, 63-54, while SHS-Ateneo ousted USC, 71-28. In the Passerelle division games, USC stunned UV, 49-32 while SHS-Ateneo cruised past Southwestern University-PHINMA, 71-28.

 Three-peat seeking UV faced strong resistance from Don Bosco which took a 14-11 lead after the first period. UV recovered to build 28-24 and 45-41 leads at halftime and the end of the third period with Don Bosco hanging tough and looking to score an upset.

With both teams fielding their strongest players in the fourth quarter, UV went to Daniel Padilla and Xerxes Duran who combined for ten fourth quarter points to pull away. WithDon Bosco threatening, Jaypee Lazarte and Marc Abangan drilled clutch triples to douse off the Greywolves’ rally.

Padilla led UV with 15 while Duran had 12. Lazarte contributed 10. Sid Reroma led Don Bosco with 13. In the other SBP division semifinal game, it was all SHS-Ateneo as they led from start to finish to oust USC. The SBP Magis Eagles jumped to a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter then limited USC to four points in the second period to settle the outcome early. Kristian Michael Porter led SHS-AdC with 12 points while Jared Bahay had 11.

Gestur Canonigo led USC with eight. UV and SHS-Ateneo face off for a second time this season after the Magis Eagles won their elimination round game, 49-45. It’s anybody’s ballgame as UV seeks a third straight SBP championship. SHS-Ateneo last won an SBP championship in 2012.

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 In the Passerelle division, USC pulled off a surprise as they stunned the defending champions and Group A top seed UV. The game was close through the first three quarters. After UV took an 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, USC rallied and took a 21-16 halftime lead.

UV recovered and slashed the lead to 31-28 by the end of the third quarter, setting the stage for what was supposed to be a close final period. But USC had other things in mind, going on a 14-0 run to kick off the final period, 45-28, with Reinhard Jumamoy, Jerich Deloira and Justin Atilano combing on offense while the USC defense left UV scoreless for eight minutes.

UV scored its first basket of the fourth quarter at the two minute mark and the game already out of reach at 45-30. Rauric Panimdim led USC with 14 points. Samuel Melicor led UV with eight. USC faces SHS-Ateneo which remained undefeated throughout the tournament.

Yuri Espinia and Chico Chan combined for 21 points in leading the Magis Eagles past the Baby Cobras. The SHS-Ateneo-USC showdown will be rematch of their opening day match which SHS-Ateneo won, 63-58. With USC peaking at the right time, the finals is expected to be tight and close. SHS-Ateneo last won the Passerelle championship in 2015, while USC last won the title in 2013. (FREEMAN)

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