IT’S A UV-UC FINAL
Webmasters oust Jaguars in thrilling overtime
The University of Cebu Webmasters made their way back to the finals in heart-stopping fashion, overhauling a five-point deficit in the last 36 seconds of regulation before taking control in overtime to oust the second-seeded University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars, 80-75, in their semifinal rubbermatch Saturday night in the 17th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Jaguars were already in a celebratory mood as they led, 71-66, after two free-throws by Nelvin Navarra, with 36.2 seconds to go.
The Webmasters however, spoiled the premature party as they narrowed the gap with two free-throws by Frederick Elombi before Justine Dacalos – after USJ-R’s Julius Pacanuayan missed two free-throws on the previous possession – knotted the count at 71-all with a booming straightaway three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left, to send the game to overtime.
The Jaguars pounced in overtime and nudged in front, 75-74, after two more free-throws by Navarra. But that proved to be their last taste of the lead as Joren Tagudin calmly canned two from the stripe while John Calvin Jabello added two more freebies to shove UC in front, 78-75, 16.6 seconds on the clock.
The Jaguars’ last offensive went nowhere as Braulio Compra’s three-point attempt from the corner got blocked and Tricky Peromingan’s attempt to save the ball instead gave it to Dacalos, who swished two from the charity stripe to seal the incredible comeback win for UC.
This marks UC’s first finals appearance since 2011, when current San Miguel Beermen June Mar Fajardo and Brian Heruela, who was in attendance in yesterday’s game, led the Webmasters to their second straight title.
Wily forward JR Puerto continued his sizzling offensive display for the Webmasters with 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting on top of 13 rebounds and four assists. Elombi had a rough outing but still managed a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards. The Cameroonian however, turned the ball over 10 times.
Jabello and Dacalos chipped in 14 and 12, respectively.
The loss was a bitter end to the championship aspirations of USJ-R, who held a twice-to-beat advantage in this round.
RJ Dinolan and Peromingan scored 15 each to pace USJ-R. But the Jaguars could not overcome another subpar outing from lead guard Jaybie Mantilla who was held down to just five points on 2-of-9 shooting.
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