Harley F. Palangchao
University of Baguio Cardinals clinched their 23rd basketball title after winning game 2 of the men’s basketball finals of the 28th season of the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League, Friday.
The men’s Cardinals led by veteran Noel Cathedral and Roman Gatchalian led other players with 19 points apiece in a 86-77 victory against the Baguio College of Technology Atoms at the jampacked University of the Cordilleras gymnasium.
BCT ace player Atoms Jervie Calivo led the team with 36 points surpassing the 34 points he delivered in game 1 with UB Cardinals winning the opener of the finals, 87-74.
The Atoms did not allow the Cardinals to establish a comfortable lead despite poor shooting performance in the first half.
The Atoms, who made their first finals appearance after joining BBBEAL three years ago, took the lead, 70-69, at the second half but Cathedral propelled his teammates for some crucial points to regain the lead.
Leading by six points and with only two minutes remaining, Cardinals tightened their defense allowing the Atoms to score only two points during the rest of the game.
It was a back-to-back victory for the Cardinals led by head coach Joel Flores after the champions snatched the title from the UC Jaguars last year.
In the distaff side, the Saint Louis University Cardinals are back-to-back women’s basketball champions following a convincing 77-67 victory against the University of Baguio Cardinals, Wednesday.
The Lady Navigators finished the best of finals in game 2 right in the Cardinals gymnasium.
The Navigators led by team captain Catherine Camilo and Blessie Ann Fideles also completed the series with no loss from the four elimination games and two finals appearances.
Game 1 of the finals was a lopsided victory for the Lady Navigators, who finished the game against the Cardinals with 20-point deficit, 70-54.
There was no turning back as the Navigators cruised their way to another win on Wednesday.
SLU earned another 10 points from women’s basketball crown while UB got eight points with University of the Cordilleras earning six points.
The win by the Navigators brought jubilation to the biggest university north of Manila after the men’s Navigators suffered a heartbreaking loss in game 2 of their semi-finals match against the Baguio College of Technology Atoms, 82-81, at the UC gym on Tuesday.