Ateneo de Cebu gets back at UC to force rubbermatch
by Jonas Panerio
Cebu Daily News, October 9, 2015
Dragged to the mud by a University of Cebu (UC) squad that knew no fear nor quit, the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles got down and dirty to pull off a 63-53 win over the Baby Webmasters in Game 2 of the best-of-three finals series in the juniors division of the 15th Cesafi basketball tournament Thursday at the packed Cebu Coliseum.
With a sea of blue and white cheering them on, the two-time defending champions showed that they too had grit and grinded their way to the tough win that evened up the series at 1-1 and send it to a sudden-death Game 3 set for tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.
At the helm of the equalizing victory was Cadiz City-native Errol Pastor, who came alive in the fourth and sparked the Magis Eagles with his relentless effort on the boards and in transition. With the Baby Webmasters nipping at their heels, 49-50, Pastor picked up the tempo and scored on consecutive fastbreak layups – the first of a sweet dish by Jed Colonia and the second on a quick steal that resulted in an unmolested lay-in – for a 54-49 lead. Wayne Bersaluna then added to the tally with a three-point play as the hulking big man fought hard to get his mitts on the ball and bank it back in. He later made the bonus freethrow to raise the lead to 57-49, 3:44 remaining. After UC guard Brylle Cuyos momentarily stopped the bleeding with a nifty transition shot, Pastor didn’t take long to respond as he took the rock to the rack and scored the last of his 12 points in the fourth. Christian Manaytay, who came off the bench to provide Ateneo de Cebu with a stabilizing presence in the middle, then finished off UC with an easy deuce off a great drop pass by Pastor as the Magis Eagles put the game out of reach, 61-51, with 54 ticks left. Pastor ended up with 23 points, an astounding 19 rebounds and four steals. He got plenty of help from the backcourt combination of Travis Mantua who scored 11 points, pulled down seven boards and swiped the ball thrice, and one-time Batang Gilas combo guard Jed Colonia who scored just 10 but supplemented it with seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Afterwards, a relieved Rommel Rasmo, head coach of Ateneo de Cebu, recalled how he implored his boys to give their all especially with their season on the line in a close game in the fourth. “I just told them that this is their chance to equalize the series and that they should make the most out of it,” said the multi-titled mentor.