UC Jaguars sweep Atoms to win BBEAL hoops title

November 27, 2016

The University of the Cordilleras Jaguars swept the Baguio College of Technology Atoms in game 2 of the best of three finals clinching the most coveted and highly contested men's basketball title of the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League, Wednesday night.

The title will be most remembered by rookie players led by John Eric Buenaventura who took charge of the scoring spree for the Jaguars who finished the game over the Atoms, 87-82, at their home court.

After the Atoms took the lead at halftime, 37-35, Buenaventura exploded with 14 points in the third quarter while his older brother and Jaguar's top scorer June Rey was in foul trouble early in the third quarter.

The younger Buenaventura got much needed scoring help from fellow rookies Krenz Trinidad who contributed 15 points; Daniel Tabangcura, 13; and Jumar Valdez, 11.

The older Buenaventura, who guided the team en route to the finals, enjoyed his last game with 12 points.

Atoms top scorer Jervie Calibo has not lost composure as he led his team to pull the score within one, 48-49, as teammate Reynil Amargo even cut UCs lead with his back-to-back treys in the third canto.

Under the watchful eyes of coach Albin Santos, the Jaguars excelled in their half court defense resulting in back-to-back steals converted into points that put them into a seven-point edge at the end of the third quarter, 68-61.

The Atoms led anew by Calibo, Pollante, Azzir Rabara, and Reynil Amargo rallied their team to 78-77 in the fourth quarter.

But Tabangcura's triple threes gave the Jaguars a comfortable lead until the final buzzer.

It is the fourth basketball men's title for the Jaguars who only lost one game the entire season. The Jaguars were champions in 1995, 2011, and 2012.

Ahead of the basketball men's finals, the Jaguars swept the taekwondo and badminton men and women's division. They also emerged as champions in table tennis men and judo men, which they have been ruling for three consecutive seasons now.

Published in the Baguio Midland Courier issued November 27, 2016 | Article & Photo by Harley F. Palangchao

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