Baby Jaguars roar to 2019 Partners’ Cup crown

6 August 2019

CEBU CITY—The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars shook off the pesky Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles, 83-68, to capture the juniors crown of the 2019 Cesafi Partners’ Cup last Tuesday, August 6, at the Cebu Coliseum.

The Baby Jaguars will be on high morale when the regular season starts late this month as they displayed the needed grit in winning the series, 2-1.

Ryzel Abatayo led the charge for the Baby Jaguars by firing 28 points. Kevin Guibao chipped in 21 points, Dilcer Gaviola donated 13, while Diether Go contributed 10 in the title-clinching victory.

It was a double celebration for Guibao as he collared the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

The two squads fought tooth and nail in the early goings of the winner-take-all match but USJ-R managed to grab a 36-33 lead at the half behind Abatayo, who unloaded 19 of his total output in the second quarter.

Gaviola and Guibao then caught fire from the three-point area and sparked an 11-1 rally that gave the Baby Jaguars a 47-34 lead.

Ateneo retaliated with an 11-0 blitz but USJR ended the third with a five-to-nothing run to take a 58-49 cushion heading into the final frame.

The Magis Eagles refused to give up and crawled within 62-64. USJ-R doused cold water on the rampaging Ateneo run, sealing the deal with a back-breaking 19-4 assault.

LA Casinillo scored 15 to lead Ateneo, which failed to complete what could have been a huge comeback after they overcame a twice-to-win handicap in the semifinals against the top-seeded University of the Visayas Baby Lancers.

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