CEBU CITY, Philippines – The University of Cebu (UC) Junior Webmasters finally ended their 2-game losing skid with a 9-point outsmarting of the Don Bosco Technological Center (DBTC) Greywolves, 69-60, Saturday, September 15, in the high school contest of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc (CESAFI) held at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Both teams played their last game and ended the elimination round with the same win-loss record of 6-3. Currently, both teams share the second spot but are not assured of an automatic entry into the semifinals as the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers and the Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons still have elimination games to play.
With 10 teams seeing action in the High School contest, the top 2 teams will get an automatic entry into the semifinals while teams ranked 3 to 6 will have to go through the quarterfinal round, where teams ranked 3 and 4 will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage. Teams ranked 7 to 10 will be eliminated.
Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles ends the elimination round at the top of the heap with its 8-1 record after dismissing their last assignment, University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars, 67-59.
The Magis Eagles then automatically advance to the semifinals while the Baby Jaguars will still have to face the UV Baby Lancers as their final assignment on Tuesday. Should they lose, they will still advance to the quarterfinals as the sole 6th placed team in the division.
The University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors, for their part, ended the season with a 3-6 record after a 61-52 routing of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers, who end the season with a 2-7 slate. Both teams are placed 8th and 9th, respectively, and have said goodbye to the season.
Small but terrible Umpad
Gelmart Umpad, who breathes life to the adage "small but terrible," defies the odds of his 4-foot-10 height to lead the Junior Webmasters back into the win column with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 7 steals, earning him the Best Player of the Game honors.
Umpad scored 16 points in the final canto outscoring the total number of points that the Greywolves posted in the quarter which was only 13 points.
Also contributing the same number of points was John Bryl Cuyos. He also pulled down 6 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Only 2 Greywolves also scored in double figures—Al Mendez with 14 and John Benedick Damolo with 13 markers.
After engaging in a neck-to-neck battle with UC taking a slim one-point lead in the first quarter, 18-17, and DBTC taking over with also a one-point lead, 31-32, at the end of the first half, the Greywolves pulled to a 9-point lead, 47-38, in the third quarter on the basket of Jan Josehn Mangaron with 2:33 left in the contest.
However, Yannick Noah Enriquez sparked a 6-0 run for the Junior Webmasters capped by the 4 points from Cuyos who after sinking a rainbow shot converted one of his gift shots that allowed UC to cut DBTC’s lead to just 3 points, 44-47.
Damolo then twisted his left ankle with just seconds remaining going into the final canto and had to be helped off the court.
With Damolo not being able to start in the final canto, the Junior Webmasters held the Greywolves to a 16-0 run for more than 6 minutes even with Damolo getting back into the game at the 7:30 mark.
The run was led by Umpad who scored 10 of the 16 points he scored in the quarter alone. It was also within that period that UC posted their highest lead of the ballgame at 13 points, 60-47.
It didn’t also help the morale of DBTC when their assistant coach, BJ Murillo, charge the court protesting a call made by one of the referees which earned him a technical foul which fortunately for the Greywolves, Umpad failed to convert.
Despite the return of Damolo, the closest that the Greywolves could come was at 8 points.
UC Junior Webmasters (69): Cuyos 22, Umpad 22, Enriquez 7, Gabisan 7, Abejo 7, Casera 4, Santome 2.
DBTC Greywolves (60): Mendez 14, Damolo 13, Malubay 9, Dela Torre 8, Mangaron 5, Ibero 3, Gabisan 2, Gato 2, Ranuco 2.
Team Standings as of September 17:
1. SHS-Ateneo - 8-1 **
2. UC - 6-3 *
3. DBTC - 6-3 *
4. UV - 5-2 *
5. CEC - 5-3 *
6. USJ-R - 4-4 *
7. SWU-PHINMA - 3-5
8. USC - 3-6
9. USPF - 2-7
10. CIT-U - 0-8
** Clinch automatic semifinals berth
* Clinch playoff berth
Games Sunday, September 18:
1 p.m. - CITU vs CEC
2:30 p.m. - UV vs SWU
4 p.m. - SWU vs USPF
5:30 p.m. - USC vs USJR