Cesafi: USJ-R Jaguars complete day’s sweep
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars completed a sweep of its games in the Cesafi on Thursday, September 28, 2023, after both its high school and college teams chalked up victories at the Cebu Coliseum.
In Thursday’s first game, the USJ-R Baby Jaguars shocked the high school defending champions, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, via a 22-point beating, 62-40.
USJ-R’s men’s team completed the sweep when the Jaguars toppled 2019 champions Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras, 56-46.
With the victories the Jaguars improved both their high school and college teams’ records to 2-0 (win-loss) in the Cesafi basketball standings.
USJ-R’s new system
USJ-R men’s basketball head coach Melo Banua said the system he has instilled in the team is starting to pay off.
“Dako kaayo nga kausaban among gibuhat sa team. Sukad niabot ko pag January, amo-a na giandam ang mga teams, both juniors ug seniors, kay dili ko ganahan mo duwa mi sa Cesafi nga wala pa kaayo na ayo among system,” said the new USJ-R men’s basketball head coach.
(There’s a big difference with the team now. Since I arrived in January, we prepared both the juniors and seniors teams because I didn’t want to play in the Cesafi without fixing the system.)
Banua has been at the helm of the team since January. He used to coach the high school team of San Sebastian College-Recoletos in Manila for seven years before taking on the coaching chores for USJ-R.
“So far, dako kaayo ang kausaban when it comes to disiplina. Ang cultura sa programa, kinahanglan jud ug kausaban kay for 30 years, wala na ma champion ang USJ-R,” Banua added.
(So far, there’s a big difference when it comes to discipline. The culture of the program, it really had to be changed because for 30 years, USJ-R has never won a championship.)
Former San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stag Milo Janao paced USJ-R with 13 points. Unfortunately, Janao exited the game with 3:47 left in the final period due to an apparent right knee injury.
EJ Agbong, also a former José Rizal University (JRU) Bomber, tallied nine points and orchestrated much of his new team’s offense that translated to a 23-point lead, 51-28, entering the final period.
The Cobras of head coach Mike Reyes managed to cut the deficit to eight points, 46-54, with 1:30 left in the game with John Cardosa and Heider Bilao leading the comeback.
However, Jake Ervin Engbino quickly doused the Cobras’ offense with a putback to bring USJ-R’s lead back to double-digits, 56-45, that ultimately sealed the game’s outcome.
Khyle Maglinte tallied 16 points, while Cardosa and Bilao combined for 15 points for the Cobras, who played their first game after a leave of absence in the league.
Banua added that Janao aggrevated his knee injury which the latter sustained last year.
Janao was obviously hurt and needed his teammates to assist him in walking down the floor.
“Ang assessment sa among PT (physical therapist), okay ra man daw, pero amo-a jud siya ipa test para makasiguro nga okay ra siya kay dako kaayo siya ug tabang sa team. Hopeful kaayo ko nga dili seryoso iyahang injury kay mao sad ingon sa among PT,” said Banua.
(The assessment of our PT is that he’s okay but we have to have him tested to make sure he’s really okay because he’s a big help to the team. I am hopeful that his injury is not serious because that’s also what our PT said.)
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