Eagles fail to soar

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Monday, March 10, 2014

PASIG City—The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles fought valiantly, but fell short against the bigger, taller and more experienced National University Bullpups.

The Cebuano squad yielded the finals slot to the two-time UAAP champions, 87-73, in their semifinal game of the 2014 SeaOil-National Basketball Training Camp (NBTC) National High School Championship Friday evening at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Chiang Kai Shek took home the title after beating NU, 88-80, in the finals yesterday.


“They’re not just good, they’re very good. They swept all their UAAP games all the way to the title,” said SHS-AdC head coach Rommer Rasmo, who just shook his head in frustration whenever his boys missed wide open shots or committed turnovers.

Magis Eagles assistant coach Sai Bacalso called the shots for the team since Rasmo is with the organizing committee as the Visayas area regional tournament coordinator.

Frustrations and sympathies were also felt by the parents who flew all the way from Cebu to support their children.

“Sayang ang efforts sa mga bata. NU is just too good and too big for them. We just don’t have enough strenght to counter their players,” said Eden Huang, whose son Zachary fought hard to keep up in the battle inside the paint against taller NU slot men.

Even former PBA player Ronnie Padilla had to come down from the bleachers to the bench to console his son, Arnie, who fouled out with still 4:10 left to play in the fourth quarter.

The game however was not all about NU, SHS-AdC gave the UAAP champs a run for their money, especially in the fi rst half when their shots hit the marks and their defense held the Bullpups. The Eagles managed to build an 18-13 lead before NU rallied with Jose Carlos Lopena scoring fi ve in a 9-0 run that gave the Bullpups a 22-20 lead after the first quarter.

SHS-AdC regained the driver’s seat with Jair Igna and Arnie Padilla delivering, but the Eagles just couldn’t pull away as NU countered with a 16-4 run for a 41-33 lead with 50 seconds left in the fi rst half.

Although, the Magis Eagles managed to cut the defi cit to seven, 45-38 at the halftime break, they already gave NU the momentum and by the second half, the Bullpups were already controlling the game, despite the explosion of Jan-Jan Jaboneta.

NU even managed to build a 21-point lead, 81-60 halfway to the final buzzer when SHS made its last hurrah by scoring 10 straight points.

NU’s star guard Janhubert Angelo Cani led his team with 16 points and Cauilian added 15,. Jaboneta scored the game high 21 points, Padilla scored 15 before fouling out and Igna fi nished with 13.

“Magkikita pa naman kami sa Palaro (Palarong Pambansa). Doon susubukan naming manalo,” said Rasmo, who will start to pound his players as soon as the team hits the gym today. (RCM)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 10, 2014.


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