By Jonas N. Panerio January 11,2018

Billy Robles of Marinerong Pilipino battles for a rebound against UC-M.Lhuillier players during a game in the Cebu City Sinulog Cup Basketball Invitational at the Cebu Coliseum.

Skippers bounce back from first defeat, edge UC-M. Lhuillier in Sinulog Cup

Games today:
Cebu Coliseum
4:30 p.m. – UC-M. Lhuillier vs USJ-R-May Abohan
6 p.m. – Cebu Landmasters vs Marinerong Pilipino

The Marinerong Pilipino Skippers got back on the winning track as they outlasted the University of Cebu (UC)-M. Lhuillier, 79-71, in the Cebu City Sinulog Cup Basketball Invitational last night at the Cebu Coliseum.

Gab Banal and Joseph Terso accounted for 16 of the Skippers’ last 18 points to carry the team to its second win in three games and into a tie for second place in the standings, behind the unbeaten Cebu Landmasters-Bogo City, which boasts of a clean 3-0 win-loss record.

Philip Paredes led the Skippers with 14, Abu Tratter had 11 while Mike Ayonayon put up 10.

In the opening game, the University of San Jose-Recoletos-May Abohan kept its hopes for a finals spot alive with an 86-80 win over the reigning Cesafi champions University of the Visayas (UV)-SG-ARQ Builders.

The win also was USJ-R’s second in three games, thanks to the near flawless performance of the high-flying Miguel Gastador.

The hero of their first win of the tournament, Gastador showcased his A-game with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Playing without head coach Yayoy Alcoseba, who was out with a fever, UC fought hard and took a 62-61 lead off a triple by Justine Dacalos and a two free-throws by Frederick Elombe with 4:03 to go.

But Banal came alive, scoring on a drive, a floater, a free throw and a three-point play that put the Skippers in front, 69-64, and also netted Elombe’s fifth foul, putting the talented Cameroonian out for the game with 1:57 to go.

UC remained close, 67-69, with a banker by Ruben Ludovice and two freebies by Lassi Coulibaly. But Terso, who was inserted into the game in the last two minutes, sank two straight triples and two free throws to seal the win for the PBA D-League squad.

UC fell to 1-2 and out of contention for the title.

Tristan Albina led UV, which ended the tournament without a single win in four games, with 21 points.

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