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By: Jonas N. Panerio September 21,2017 - 10:20 PM

Jaybie Mantilla of USJR puts up a shot against Daryl Nazareno of SWU in a Cesafi seniors game at the Cebu Coliseum. (CDN PHOTO/Lito Tecson)

The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars pushed the Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras to the edge of elimination as they rallied from a 12-point deficit to come away with an 83-77 win in the 17th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament last night at the Cebu Coliseum.

The game was tied for the last time at 73-all but the Jaguars finally gained separation, thanks to booming three-pointers from reserve guards Miguel Gastador and Braulio Compra that spelled the difference in getting USJ-R its seventh win in nine games.

The Cobras dropped to 3-6 (win-loss) and are in danger of missing the Final Four with just three more games left on the schedule.

SWU is currently chasing the University of Cebu (UC), which owns the fourth spot and the last ticket to the semifinals with a 5-4 card.

The Cobras led 32-20 at the midway point of the second but the Jaguars caught up and took the lead, 57-56, at the end of the third. The two teams went back and forth but Gastador gave the Jaguars the lead for good, 76-73, with a triple from the left corner with 1:59 left.

After two made free-throws from Cobras forward Edmundo Bayhonan narrowed the gap to one, Compra came up with another three-pointer from the very same corner to bring the Jaguars lead to four, 79-75, 1:29 left.

The Cobras had several chances to come even closer but just seemed half a step slower than the Jaguars, who pounced on every looseball available. Jaybie Mantilla and Compra sealed the win with four makes from the charity stripe in the game’s dying moments.

Gastador led the Jaguars with 17 points and six rebounds, RJ Dinolan finished with a huge double-double of 14 points and 15 boards while the surprising Compra, scored in twin-digits for the second straight game with 10.

Shaquille Imperial and Daryl Nazareno scored 12 each for the Cobras.

In the high school division, the Don Bosco Greywolves won over the SWU-Phinma Baby Cobras, 82-74. Both teams, who are already out of contention for the playoffs, own similar 3-6 records.

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TAGS: nips, SWU, USJ-R

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