Wildcats welcome back suspended coach with scrambling OT win over Warriors
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats on Saturday outlasted the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 76-72, in overtime in the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.
It was the first win for the Wildcats in three games on the day they welcomed their head coach, Edsel Vallena back from a two-game suspension.
Big man John Jabonete shone in the painted area with his 15 markers, while Jessie Aloro also had 15 for the Wildcats. Ace Rondina, and Josiah Villamayor added 11 and seven points, respectively.
Jorniel Tangkay led the Warriors with 14 points and Froiland Mangubat added 11 markers as USC suffered its second defeat in three games.
The Warriors led by as many as 21 points, 42-21, midway through the third period.
However, the Wildcats turned the game around after unleashing a blistering, 20-7 run which eventually put them ahead, 60-59, with 44.7 seconds left in the third period.
Villamayor then impressively scored all of his seven points from beyond the arc and the charity stripe in the last two minutes of the game that put CIT-U ahead, 64-60.
However, Mangubat scored a layup that put them within one, 64-63, with 40.9 seconds left in regulation before earning a crucial foul that sent him to the stripe.
Nerves though caught up with the USC spitfire as he only managed to split his charity shots to tie the score at 64-all and send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Jabonete and Aloro powered the Wildcats to gain a two-possession lead, 68-64.
The Warriors tried to fight back, but Rondina and Allen Gler sank all their free throw attempts to keep the Warriors at bay and steal the win. /rcg
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