UC sinks Panthers, books finals slot

Jonas Panerio

THE University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters made their way back to the finals to defend their title after they ousted the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers, 81-56, in the deciding game of their semifinal match-up in the 2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) high school basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 16, 2019.

After wasting a 17-point fourth period lead in their last game, UC made sure a repeat would not happen as they took full control of the ballgame in the second period, which they kicked off by scoring 18 straight points to build a huge 34-9 lead.

Although USPF rallied and pulled to within nine on several occasions, UC had an answer to every uprising with Vanvan Sevillejo, Kenyon Pondoc and Isaiah Blanco exploiting seams in the Baby Panthers’ defense to score points and keep their opponents at bay.

Sevillejo led UC with 19 points, seven rebounds and two steals, Pondoc—a stocky and speedy guard—added 18 points, while Blanco, the son of Cebuano basketball legend and Cebu City Councilor, Dondon Hontiveros, filled the stat-sheet up with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.

King Balaga also scored in double-figures with 10 points.

Elijah Singson led USPF with 10 points as their prolific guard Kyle Ochavo—who exploded for a whopping 30 points in their double-overtime win over UC last Thursday — was held down to just nine.

UC will now head to the finals where they would be taking on the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles. Game 1 is on Monday afternoon, Nov. 18, at the same venue.