CEBU CITY — University of San Jose-Recoletos erased a a five-point deficit with a over a minute left to score a thrilling 61-58 victory over University of San Carlos on Sunday in the 17th Cesafi basketball tournament at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Jaguars point guard Jaybie Mantilla and forward RJ Dinolan made the big plays to help USJ-R grab their fourth win in five games, and hand USC their first loss after five straight wins.
Mantilla led the Jaguars with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists – the last one feeding Dinolan for a bucket that placed USJ-R ahead for good.
Dinolan had a huge double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds.
USJ-R stared at a 58-53 deficit with 1:15 to go but Mantilla sparked the turnaround by hitting a midrange jumper while getting nudged in the back for an and-one play to pull the Jaguars to within two, 56-58.
USC wingman Victor Rabat then muffed his free-throws while Dinolan split his to push USJ-R to 57-58, with 33.7 seconds remaining.
The Warriors had a shot to raise their lead after Rabat was sent to the charity stripe once again. But the veteran guard gave in to nerves, missing both, his second attempt not even hitting the rim, leaving the door ajar for the Jaguars.
Mantilla drove and dropped the ball off to Dinolan for a basket that put USJ-R in the driver’s seat, 59-58, with 16.2 seconds left.
USC reserve wingman Magic Marata tried to save the day for USC but missed a fallaway jumper and USJ-R big man Albert Catiloc pulled down the board, was fouled but missed both attempts from the line.
USJ-R wingman Tricky Peromingan grabbed the offensive rebound and then swished two free-throws to push them further in front, 61-58, with exactly three seconds to go.
USC two-guard Lucky Ecarma then missed a contested triple as the final buzzer sounded, sending the Jaguars and their faithful home with the morale-boosting win.
USJ-R 61 — Mantilla 16, Dinolan 14, Compra 9, Peromingan 6, Nunez 6, Catiloc 4, Calang 2, Ubalde 2, Cabrera 2.
USC 58 — Marata 12, Rabat 9, Oleodo 8, Cadavis 6, Tan 5, Ecarma 4, Trangia 3, Mangubat 3, Aranas 2, Oguis 2, Araw-Araw 2, Saycon 2.
Quarterscores: 11-10; 24-28; 41-39; 61-58.