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Benedicto College escapes CIT-U to grab third win in Cesafi college basketball

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDNDigital Correspondent | October 21,2023 - 08:10 PM

Benedicto College Cheetahs players and coaching staff pose for a group photo after winning over CIT-U in their game in the Cesafi

Benedicto College Cheetahs players and coaching staff pose for a group photo after winning over CIT-U in their game in the Cesafi. | CDN Digital photo / Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Benedicto College Cheetahs survived a second half scare against the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats,  72-64, in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball on Saturday, October 21, 2023.

Benedicto College now has the best record among the four newcomers in Cesafi men’s basketball with three wins and two losses.

The Cebu Roosevelt Memorial College (CRMC) Mustangs and the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu Fighting Maroons each have a 1-4 (win-loss) record, while the Felipe R. Verallo Foundation College Blue Dragons has a 0-5 card.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats found themselves on the losing end anew, roughly a week after tasting their first win by beating the Blue Dragons last October 15. The defeat dropped CIT-U’s record to a 1-4 (win-loss). 

During their game at the Cebu Coliseum on Saturday, four of Benedicto College’s players tallied double-digit scores headed by Kenneth Babalcon who had 14 points in their win over CIT-U. Junnic Bulan added 12 points, while Serge Gabines and Ken Melitante each had 11 points for the Cheetahs.

Jim Brent Taala paced CIT-U with 16 points and Rey Suano added 13 markers. 

The Cheetahs capped off the first half with a 10-point lead, 38-28, and started the third period with a 14-point cushion, 54-40. They even stretched their lead to 20, 61-41, at the start of the final canto. 

However, they eventually found themselves in trouble during crunchtime  when the Wildcats made a huge comeback anchoring on Taala’s hot three-point shooting. 

Taala was 4/4 from the three point line scoring 12 points and Suano nailed back-to-back treys as the Wildcats unloaded a 23-7 run, cutting the lead to just four, 64-68, with 26.8 ticks left.

Fortunately for the Cheetah, they converted a basket from Jayson Almero’s Hail Mary pass to Babalcon who was sprinting towards the other end of the floor for an easy basket, giving them a six-point lead 70-64, with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

CIT-U sealed their fate when Josiah Villamayor committed a costly turnover on the next ball possession, forcing them to give up a foul sending Babalcon on the charity stripe. 

Babalcon then sank both his free throws to secure Benedicto College’s win. 


Cesafi men’s basketball: Gabines trey gives Cheetahs a close win against Mustangs

Cesafi: USPF pulls off come-from-behind win against Benedicto College

Cesafi 2023: Cobras down Cheetahs, 60-55, in hard fought game on Sunday

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TAGS: Benedicto College Cheetahs, Cesafi, CIT-U Wildcats

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