USPF escapes SWU; USC crushes CIT-U
The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers escaped with a 62-59 win over the Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras in the 2018 Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Tuesday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
In the second game, the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors breezed past the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats, 102-55, to even its record up at 1-1 (win-loss).
It was by no means an easy debut for the Panthers as they sputtered down the stretch and nearly wasted a 12-point lead with just three minutes to go.
The win appeared to be in the bag for the team of new head coach Brian Jereza as they led, 59-47, after a midrange jumper by Richy Managor and a tough layup by RR Cauba, 3:03 to go.
But the Cobras, who won on opening day, fought back behind the scoring of rookie big man Red Cachuela and ace two guard Shaquille Imperial, the latter’s lay-in pulling SWU-Phinma to within three, 59-62, with 11.2 seconds remaining.
Disaster struck for USPF as on the ensuing play, the outlet pass went nowhere and got scooped up by Imperial before eventually making its way to a wide open Reeve Ugsang in the corner. But the sweet-shooting big man couldn’t convert the potential equalizing triple as the final buzzer sounded, much to the relief of the Panthers.
Nigerian big man, Richy Managor, led the Panthers with 13 points while RR Cauba added 11.
Afterwards, Jereza said the win was great as it got the monkey off their backs this early in the season.
“We’re done with the first game jitters. But we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got to practice even more as we have a lot to improve on,” said Jereza.
SWU-Phinma got 28 points from Shaquille Imperial and 19 from Cachuela. The Cobras now have an even 1-1 record.
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