HUAQIAO CAPTURES 6th AUBC TITLE
by Henry Liao
CEBU CITY - Huaqiao University of China exacted revenge against its elimination-round tormentor, the University of the Visayas, Saturday night with an 82-76 victory over the Green Lancers in the finals of the Asian University Basketball Championship at the Cebu Coliseum.
Huaqiao, which earlier dropped a 67-63 decision to UV, got off to a slow start, surrendering the game's first five points and trailing by four, 11-7, in the early goings. However, the Fujian-based international school scored 14
consecutive points bridging the first and second quarters to take a 10-point
lead, 21-11, on Malaysian student-playmaker Guganeswaran Batumalai's inside snipings.
UV came roaring back to deadlock the score at 23-all but Zhang Jiabin connected on a three-pointer as the Chinese regained the lead, 26-23, and ignited another 8-0 run to move ahead, 31-23.
Halftime score was 37-32 in favor of Huaqiao. The Chinese enjoyed their biggest lead, 68-55, midway through the fourth period. The Lancers trimmed the deficit to 74-71, on Cincoflores' three-point play at the 2:35 mark.
Successive baskets by Yu Xiang and Batumalai, gave Huaqiao a seven-point cushion, 78-71, and eventually sealed the outcome.
Huaqiao, which placed third in last year's AUBC competitions in Daet,
Camarines Norte, had four players in double figures.
Yu Xiang totaled 19 points. Batumalai, voted the tournament's MVP,
collected 17, followed by Zhang's 14 (including a dozen from the
three-point area) and Jiang Xinxin's 12. Chee Li Wei, a 6-7 Malaysian whose family moved to Fujian seven years ago, had four points, five rebounds and five blocks.
Cincoflores and 6-11 Fil-Am Gregory Slaughter each had 15 points for the Green Lancers, who are the reigning seven-time champions in the local CESAFI league.
In the battle for third place, Southwestern University waltzed to a 105-93 win over South Korea's Hanyang University.
The championship was supported by Burlington Industries, Wilson as the official ball, Summit Mineral Water, Healthy Options, Spring Natural Water, Hotel Fortuna, Casino Alcohol, Omega Pain Reliever, Everlast, McDavid Sports.
The Championship trophy to Huaqiao University was awarded by Asian University Basketball Federation (AUBF) Vice President and former Asian University Sports Federation (AUSF) Secretary General Dr. Ekodjatmiko Sukarso and BAP President Prospero “Butch” Pichay, together with China Consul General He Shi Jing, Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) Vice Chairman David Ong, Mayor Celestino Martinez, BAP Regional Director Lorenzo Sy, Commissioner Felix “Boy” Tiukinhoy of Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI), Burlington Representative Tony Fabico, Joey Esteban of Wilson Sports, and Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP) and AUBF Secretary General Graham C. Lim.