USJ-R Jaguars escape BC Cheetahs, climb to the No. 3 spot in Cesafi standings

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | November 12,2023 - 08:01 PM

The USJ-R Jaguars players and coaching staff after their game in the Cesafi on Sunday, November 12.

The USJ-R Jaguars players and coaching staff after their game in the Cesafi on Sunday, November 12. | CDN Digital photo / Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars cruised to their sixth victory amidst the obstacle that the team is currently facing in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament. 

The Jaguars narrowly defeated the Benedicto College Cheetahs, 55-51, on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at the Cebu Coliseum. This improved their record to six wins and two defeats.

They now hold the No. 3 spot in the men’s team standings, dislodging the USPF Panthers (5-2), while the Cheetahs are in the fifth place with their 4-4 card. 

The Jaguars grabbed this crucial win amidst the questionable eligibility of one of their forwards, EJ Agbong. 

Cesafi officials are currently investigating Agbong to determine whether or not he’s eligible to continue playing in the league after finding out discrepancies of his transcript of records (T.O.R). 

With the ongoing investigation, Agbong had to sit out of their game against the Cheetahs.

Still, the Jaguars of head coach Melo Banua poured everything on the court to grab the crucial win against an equally-determined Cheetahs, one of the four newcomers in the Cesafi. 

The Jaguars overcame a slow start, 8-16, in the first period. They managed to tie the game at 18-all, but finished off the first half trailing, 24-28. 

Both teams then went on a toe-to-toe battle in the second half resulting to multiple lead changes and deadlocks.

The Jaguars found themselves leading, 51-48, heading into the game’s final three minutes, but the Cheetahs’ Den Rick Orgong sank a trey to tie the game at 51-all. 

Veteran forward Elmer Echavez then placed USJ-R ahead anew, 53-51, after making both his free throws with two minutes left in the game. 

But, the Cheetahs didn’t want to go down without putting up a good fight after making back-to-back defensive stops, despite struggling to make a basket. 

Still, their efforts went to waste as they committed too many fouls, putting them on penalty as time winded down.

This resulted to Jay Deiparine and Klein Gordillo being sent to the charity stripe for USJ-R with both splitting their free throws to ultimately seal their victory, 55-51.


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TAGS: Benedicto College Cheetahs, Cesafi, USJR Jaguars

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