Cesafi: Panthers tame Mustangs with come-from-behind win in basketball
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of Southern Philippines-Foundation (USP-F) Panthers kicked off their Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) college basketball campaign with a come-from-behind win over newcomer, Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges (CRMC) Mustangs, 74-65, on Tuesday evening, September 26, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Panthers banked on their experience to buck a first half double-digit deficit with their pivotal second half outing.
Panthers experience showed in Cesafi game
Alje Mendez topscored the Panthers with 16 points, while Peter Peteros added 11 points.
Guards Neon Chavez and Winston Bingil Jr. each contributed eight points.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs’ sharpshooter Keaton Taburanal spoiled his 17-point game, so did James Gelig’s 10 markers as they absorbed their first defeat in two games.
During the game, the Mustangs appeared to be more poised and efficient than the Panthers early after building a 10-point lead, 48-38, heading into halftime.
Panthers overcome double-digit deficit
However, the Panthers slowly chipped the double-digit deficit away in the start of the third period until they momentarily grabbed the lead, 53-51. This was after they unloading a 13-3 run, with Kent Gato topping it with a triple.
Both teams then traded baskets that resulted to 11 lead changes.
Also both teams tied the game 10 times with the Panthers entering the final period with a two-point cushion, 61-59.
Mendez, bigman John Lumingkit, and Peter Peteros’ offensive efforts kept USP-F ahead of four points, 69-65, entering the last two minutes.
USP-F which was the No.2 team in last year’s team standings, asserted their defensive prowess, cracking the Mustangs under pressure, missing back-to-back shots from Gelig and Paolo Dalumpines.
Worse, Dalumpines fouled Chavez twice, yielding the latter three-of-four from the charity stripe that stretched the Panthers’ lead to seven, 72-65, with less than a minute remaining.
USP-F put icing on the cake from Lumingkit’s layup from a defensive stop to come up with their 74-65, win.
The Panthers will face the returning Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras on October 7, while the Mustangs square off with the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars on October 1.
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