CEBU CITY – The University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars fought back from an 18-point deficit to beat the University of San Carlos Warriors, 101-93, in the 2018 Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Tuesday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Nichole Ubalde had 24 points and seven rebounds while RJ Dinolan finished with a double-double of 21 markers and 10 boards for USJ-R, which finished the first round of the eliminations in second place with a 5-1 win-loss card.
The Warriors dropped to 2-4.
The Jaguars found themselves trailing 29-47 before turning the game around with a 16-6 run sparked by Mythical Five forward Dinolan and slam dunk champion Miguel Gastador to slice the deficit to six, 45-51, at halftime.
USJ-R eventually asserted control in the third with a sizzling 15-1 rally powered by reserve forward Ubalde, who scored eight straight in just a minute, to push the Jaguars to a 76-70 advantage heading to the fourth.
USJ-R raised their lead to 11, 87-76, but USC pulled to within four, 93-97, after a straightaway triple by Magic Marata with 22.1 seconds remaining. But four straight free-throws by Fletcher Galvez and Jaybie Mantilla to put the win on ice.
Mantilla, the reigning MVP, nearly had a triple-double of 19 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists. Gastador and Elmer Echavez rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Jaguars with 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Sommy Managor collected 20 points but was limited to just 21 minutes of action due to foul trouble. John Reel Saycon had 17 in spite shooting just 3-of-15 from the floor while Lucky Ecarma added 16.
USJ-R (101) Ubalde 24, Dinolan 21, Mantilla 19, Gastador 18, Echavez 15, Galvez 4
USC (93) Managor 20, Saycon 17, Ecarma 16, Tan 13, Mangubat 12, Marata 5, Aranas 4, Lagu0yo 4, Langres 2,
Quarterscores: 18-25, 45-51, 76-70, 101-93