USPF escapes USC in Cesafi thriller
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers escaped with a, 79-76, victory against the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament on Saturday, November 11, at the Cebu Coliseum.
The win tied the Panthers with the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars with five wins and two defeats at the No. 3 spot.
It was a fitting comeback for the Panthers who bowed down to the newcomers, the University of the Philippines-Cebu Fighting Maroons, 76-77, last November 10.
Meanwhile, the Warriors absorbed their fourth loss in seven games for the sixth spot in the team standings.
Veteran guard Neon Chavez topscored USPF with his 15-point outing. Peter John Peteros added 10 points, while Jasper Lumingkit chipped in nine markers for the Panthers.
Bryle Puntual scored 13 points for USC, while James Gica tallied 10 points in USC’s defeat.
The Warriors were ahead in the first two periods, 26-22, but the Panthers took over the second half by firing an 11-4 run to grab a 33-30 lead.
The Panthers were able to stretch their lead to nine points, 54-45, with 3:51 left in the game.
However, the Warriors fought back after unloading a 9-4 run, putting them behind within four points, 54-58, with 38 ticks left in the game from Puntual and Gica’s efforts.
The Warriors pulled themselves an inch closer to the Panthers after Uriel Avila was fouled with eight seconds remaining. Avila canned both free throws to cut the lead to just two, 56-58.
Despite their efforts, the Warriors were already in penalty, forcing them to give up a foul that resulted to Chavez splitting his two free throws, putting USPF ahead 59-56.
USC had several chances to force the game into overtime after they had the last ball possession, but BJ Baruc badly missed his left corner three.
USPF’s Jay Alilin missed both his free throws with 3.5 seconds left, giving USC another chance.
The Warriors were able to secure the rebound from Alilin’s miss with Puntual throwing a Hail Mary which also missed badly, resulting in their defeat.
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