A freak accident marred the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles 3-0 stretch in the junior contest of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) basketball tournament held Tuesday, August 15 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Games Thursday, August 17, New Cebu Coliseum
5:15 p.m. CITU vs SWU (High School)
6:45 p.m. CITU vs SWU (College)
The Magis Eagles defeated the Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC) Greywolves, 58-50, for their third straight win this season.
But in a horrific turn of events, they lost one if their key players, shooting guard Andrew Vincent Velasco, who suffered a compound leg fracture when he broke his right shin that resulted from a bad fall in the third quarter.
Velasco, who was on a fastbreak, slammed into the Greywolves’ Juan Miguel dela Torre while driving to the basket at the 7:50 mark of the third quarter. This caused him to land awkwardly on his right foot and sitting on his right leg which broke the bone.
He was immediately tended to by the medical team led by CESAFI resident physician Rhoel Dejano. He was stretchered off the hardcourt. Dejano put Velasco’s injured leg in a splint before he was taken to the University of Cebu Medical Center.
Most likely, he is ruled out for the season, a big loss to the Magis Eagles’ fifth title campaign and the fourth straight this season.
“Exactly, malaking bagay yon, good thing si Jed (Jed Cedrick Colonia) nandyan but I think, siempre I’m still confident sa team kasi I know yong iba mag step up din. I trust my players.”
(Exactly, it is a big thing, good thing Jed is there but I think, of course I’m still confident of the team because I know the others will step up. I trust my players.)
Velasco had started this season on a high note topscoring with 18 points in the Magis Eagles season opening game against the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers.
Velasco is a native of Bacolod and is staying at the SHS-AdC campus in Mandaue City.
It was a case of you gain one you lose one for the Magis Eagles who just had CESAFI junior two-time MVP Jed Cedrick Colonia see action for the first time in the same game wherein they also lost Velasco.
Colonia has been missing the Magis Eagles’ first two games as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.
The Magis Eagles were leading by 12 points, 32-20, when the accident happened. They, however, stayed focused when the play resumed and even stretched their lead to 18 points, 46-28, going into the final quarter.
Rasmo calmed his players by telling them to stay positive.
“Sabi ko lang stay positive guys, wala na tayong magawa, we have to move on, ang pinakamasakit pa dito nawala na si Andrew tapos matatalo pa tayo dito so all we have to do is to make sure to fight back and you know we have to keep going kasi it is still a long way to go,” said Rasmo.
(I just told them to stay positive, there’s nothing we can do, we have to move on, it will be more painful that we lost Andrew and then we will lose in this game, so all we have to do is to make sure to fight back and you know we have to keep going because it is still a long way to go.)
Still, the Velasco incident seemed to have started taking a toll on the Magis Eagles allowing the Greywolves to get back into the game on a 12-0 run anchored on the 6-straight points of Jayson Florence Abejo which cut their 22-point lead, the highest in the ballgame, to just 10 points, 53-43.
Michael Jay Cutamora and Christian Manaytay helped in holding the Greywolves at arms’ length but the Greywolves were relentless and came as close as trailing by only 7 points, 50-57, when John Benedick Damolo converted 3 of his 4 back-to-back charities inside the last two minutes of the ballgame.
Rasmo called for a timeout with just 43 seconds left and urged his players to play defense.
Eventually, the Magis Eagles did just that and never allowed the Greywolves to score another point and ended the game in their favor.
Jhon Benedict Yu led the Magis Eagles with 11 points while Abejo finished with 15 points for the Greywolves and Jomari James Ranuco added 13 points.
SHS-AdC Magis Eagles (58) – JB Yu 11, Manaytay 9, Cutamora 7, Diaz 6, Velasco 6, PW Yu 6, Chua 4, Visser 4, Gesalem 3, Tuadles 2.
DBTC Greywolves (50) – Abejo 15, Ranuco 13, Damolo 8, Dela Torre 5, Malubay 5, Siona 2, Boyboy 2.