Ateneo de Cebu draws first blood vs. Baby Webmasters

Jonas N. Panerio

(UPDATED)--The SHS-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles are just a win away from reclaiming the throne after they outlasted the defending champions University of Cebu Baby Webmasters, 74-69, in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) high school basketball tournament at the packed Cebu Coliseum on Monday, November 18, 2019.

Prolific guard LA Casinillo scored 28 points, including a 10 straight points in the fourth canto that helped the Magis Eagles erect a 66-55 lead. He also canned two free-throws with 5.7 seconds remaining to seal the series-opening win for Ateneo de Cebu. Casinillo rounded out his performance with seven rebounds and three steals.

Mike Boniel added 13 points, seven boards, two assists and two steals as Ateneo de Cebu took full control of the game in the second canto where they went on a 17-2 run to turn a 13-17 deficit into a 30-19 advantage.

The win appeared to be in the bag for the Magis Eagles as they held a 71-59 lead after a floater by Boniel with 1:49 remaining. But Isaiah Blanco and Daniel Lapiz canned two straight triples to bring UC to within five, 66-71, with 1:07 remaining.

Boniel made a free-throw to push Ateneo de Cebu’s lead to six but Blanco swished another three-pointer to pull UC to within just three, 69-72, time down to seven seconds.

However, Casinillo erased all doubt as to which team would take the victory as he made two free-throws.

Blanco led UC with 19 points while Maczi Micutuan had 14 markers. Lapiz finished with 12 points. (SunStar Cebu)