Cesafi: USC survives UP-Cebu in OT
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors survived an overtime duel against the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu Fighting Maroons, 80-70, in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament on Tuesday evening, November 14, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.
The victory improved the Warriors’ record to four wins and four losses, putting them at the sixth spot and tied with the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges (CRMC).
Meanwhile, the Fighting Maroons officially wrapped up their debut year in the Cesafi with two wins and eight defeats in the 11-team men’s basketball tournament.
The Fighting Maroons of head coach Rommel Rasmo finished at 10th spot behind bottom-ranked Felipe Verallo Foundation College Felipe R. Verallo Foundation College Blue Dragons (1-7).
James Paolo Gica was red-hot from beyond the arc after nailing six three-pointers to finish with 26 points.
Bryle Andres Puntual tallied 17 points, 12 of which were scored in the second half.
Uriel Avila chipped in nine markers for the Warriors, including four in overtime.
JZ Dizon scored 16 and Rafael Arradaza had 12 for UP-Cebu.
The game was closely fought from the get-go with USC hanging on a four-point lead, 18-14.
However, the Fighting Maroons fought back, outscoring the Warriors, 23-16, to grab a four-point lead, 38-34, heading into halftime.
The Fighting Maroons managed to stretch their lead to six. Both teams then threw haymakers with UP Cebu winning the third period, 54-49.
Still, USC quickly tied the game anew at 54-all from the efforts of Gica and Avila. Both teams went on to another close-quarter battle, resulting to a deadlock at 64-all with a minute left in the game.
BJ Baruc put USC ahead momentarily with a jumper, 66-64, but Dizon answered them with a game-tying jumper to tie the game anew, 66-all.
With 30 seconds left, Puntual scored a layup to bring USC ahead, 68-66.
However, Dizon quickly answered with his layup that tied the game anew 68-all with 7 seconds left.
USC had the chance to win the game, but James Gica missed his jumper resulting to the extra period.
In overtime, the Warriors made sure to seal their win by outscoring the Fighting Maroons, 12-2.
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