CEBU CITY – The University of San Carlos Warriors sent the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) best-of-five championship series to a deciding game after a hard-fought 56-48 win over the Southwestern University Cobras on Friday at the Cebu Coliseum.
What the Warriors lack in experience, they more than make up for with sheer hustle and tenacity to ruin the Cobras' party plans and set up a potentially explosive Game Five showdown for all the marbles on Sunday at 6 p.m.
While Cameroonian Shooster Olago led USC’s fightback with 20 points and nine rebounds, it was the Warriors’ bench mob that did the most damage as it outplayed SWU’s quintet on the floor in a game-breaking 14-2 run.
Former Ateneo Team B member Kiefer Lim scored 12 points spiked by three three-pointers, the last one giving the Warriors their largest lead of the game at 15, 51-36, 5:36 left in the match.
He also had three assists and conspired with USC’s other perimeter players to hold SWU’s experienced guards to rookie-like performances.
Reigning league MVP Mark Jayven Tallo finished with six points on 3-of-12 shooting for the Cobras. Jasper Parker had four and committed five turnovers while Jovanie Luz made just two of his 12 shots.
SWU’s import, Landry Sanjo, put on another pedestrian performance as he contributed just 11 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 3:37 to go.
USC (56) – Olago 20, Lim 12, Rabat 9, Toyambi 6, Laude 3, Magat 2, Pepito 2
SWU (48) – Sanjo 11, Valdor 11, Bregondo 6, Tallo 6, Mohammed 6, Parker 4, Luz 4
Quarterscores: 15-15, 32-25, 40-32, 56-48