TOP SPOT SECURED
UV Green Lancers assured of top seed in semis with victory over USJ-R Jaguars
The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers locked up the top seed after a hard-earned 82-72 win over the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars in the 17th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament last night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Ranged against a Jaguars squad that knew no quit despite trailing by as many as 14 points, the Green Lancers, sparked by Jerome Napao’s relentlessness, outworked USJ-R on the offensive boards, that resulted in numerous putbacks, to pave the way for their 10th straight win against a solitary loss.
The win secured the top seed for UV in the semifinal round, which begins next week.
Monic Soliva scored 15 points, spiked by three triples, to lead the way for the defending champions, while Jerome Napao had a double-double of 13 points and 11 boards.
Liberian big man Bassiere Sackour had 13 markers and nine rebounds while Josue Segumpan and Rey Suerte tallied 10.
Down 64-65, Napao scored on a putback and a tip-in on consecutive possessions while Sackour added another stickback to put UV ahead, 70-65.
The Jaguars closed to within 71-72 but Suerte scored on a step-through jumper to raise the lead to three with 1:20 to go.
Napao and Sackour then swished four straight free throws in the final minute to put the win on ice for UV.
RJ Dinolan and Jaybie Mantilla scored 15 each for USJ-R, which fell to 8-3 (win-loss).
In the first game, the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors gained a foothold on the third seed after they survived the Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras, 76-72.
The win was USC’s seventh in 11 games, giving it some breathing space over the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, which is at 6-5.
USC and UC will tangle this Saturday for the right to claim the third seed.
The Warriors had to dig down deep as they lost a 20-point lead and trailed, 71-72, after a corner triple by Cobras forward Mac Racho with 1:52 to go.
But USC big man Malcolm Tan tied the game with a free throw and Julius Cadavis shoved the team back in front, 74-72, with a jumper from the keyhole area.
The Cobras had several chances to tie or take the lead but muffed them all, as Saycon stole a kickout pass that led to a free throw by Warrior off guard Victor Rabat for a 75-72 lead.
SWU-Phinma sniper Daryl Nazareno missed a hastily-shot three-pointer and Tan sealed the deal for USC by making another free-throw with just 5.1 seconds left.
Kurt Trangia and Malcolm Tan each had 13 for USC with the latter adding a whopping 16 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. Kevin Oleodo had 11 while Rabat and Cadavis submitted 10 each. Cadavis also pulled down 12 boards.
John Lloyd Luz led the Cobras with 15 points and six assists in his last collegiate game.
The Cobras will be missing the semifinals, bowing out with a 4-8 mark.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.