USJ-R outlasts UCLM, salvages third place in Cesafi HS basketball tilt

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | December 10,2023 - 07:05 PM

USJ-R Baby Jaguars players and coaching staff pose for a group photo after finishing third in Cesafi high school basketball tournament.

USJ-R Baby Jaguars players and coaching staff pose for a group photo after finishing third in Cesafi high school basketball tournament held at the Cebu Coliseum. | By Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars wrapped up their Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) Season 23 high school basketball campaign in the third place after outlasting the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu Mandaue (UCLM) Webmasters, 64-62, on Sunday, December 10.

USJ-R who spoiled their twice-to-beat advantage against the UV Baby Green Lancers in the semifinals, redeemed themselves with their hard-fought win against the Webmasters.

However, they needed to fight tooth and nail to claim a third place win against UCLM. 

The USJ-R Baby Jaguars stormed back from a 16 point-deficit, 39-23, in the first half by turning the table completely in the second half. 

After trailing by three in the third period, USJ-R tied the game at 56-all from Chan Benedick Brigoli’s breakaway layup from a UCLM turnover with 6:20 left in the final period.

UCLM broke the deadlock after Kian Luchavez and Ronald Miñoza connived for a short 5-0 scoring burst, putting them ahead by five, 61-56.

Not to be outfought, USJ-R retaliated with their own 6-0 run from Alcher Obra and Jan Mark Toring’s efforts to grab the lead, 62-61, for the first time in the game with 1:30 left.

USJ-R stretched their lead to three, 64-61, after Toring scored another layup as they exploited UCLM’s back-to-back turnovers with less than a minute left in the game. 

UCLM was able to cut the lead to two after Bryle Diaz split his two free throws. 

The Webmasters had the chance to regain the lead and win the game but Miñoza and Luchavez missed crucial treys as time winded down, sealing their unfortunate ending in the Cesafi Season 23 high school basketball tilt. 

Kyle Rueda paced USJ-R with his 14-point outing, while Obra and JV Oringo each scored 12 points. 

Luchavez spoiled his game-high 23 points for UCLM, so as Miñoza’s 11 markers. 

The Webmasters were short-handed on their battle-for-third game after three of their players in Revo Lao, John Alwyn Sala, and Dave Liburan were suspended for involving in a melee against the SHS-AdC in their semifinals game last December 7. 


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TAGS: basketball, Cesafi, high school, University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars

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