|The Magis Eagles Jeremy Nacua drives into the heart of SCC's defense.|
Ateneo de Cebu to face San Beda in SM-NBTC semis
by rick olivares
The Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles trounced Southern City Colleges of Zamboanga, 99-38, to book a semifinals seat in the 2016 SM-National Basketball Training Center tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena yesterday.
Jeremy Nacua topscored with 18 points while Andrew Vincent Velasco, Justin Christopher Javelosa, and Eroll Pastor added 16, 12, and 10 points respectively to the defending champions’ effort that saw them post the highest winning margin of the competition thus far.
Rafael Quilla of Southern City Colleges was the only player in double figures with 13.
The 61-point margin of victory bettered the 50-point battering of UAAP champions, National University that demolished Tay Tung High School of Bacolod, 88-38, last Sunday evening.
The Magis Eagles are three-time NBTC champions and look to meet current NCAA champions San Beda in the Division 1 semifinals this coming Wednesday.
In last year’s tourney, the majority of the current Red Cubs were on the Team B squad that lost to Ateneo de Cebu en route to the finals. “We are a year older and better,” said San Beda coach JB Sison who said his players are looking for a measure of payback.
The Magis Eagles lost four vital cogs to their champion team in Janjan Jaboneta and Pio Longa who are now with UP, Zach Huang who is with UST, and Joshua Sinclair who is now with NU.
“We know that San Beda is very good and we have a younger team,” noted Ateneo coach Francis Auquico. “The plan was to give our other players who didn’t play much against Thailand Traill International School (who they defeated, 76-72) last Sunday so they will develop some confidence. We have no doubt that San Beda will play their best and we have to prepare the boys well.”
In other matches of Day 2 of the tournament, Chiang Kai Shek College chalked up their second win with an 83-45 triumph over St. Robert’s International Academy of Iloilo while Agusan National High School of Butuan crushed Our Lady of the Pillar College of Isabela, 93-62.
In the other Division 1 semifinals match, Chiang Kai Shek College will play current UAAP champions NU also this Wednesday.
Entrance to the 2016 SM-NBTC is free. Tickets may be claimed at the Coral Way entrance of the SM Mall of Asia Arena.