CEBU CITY — Congolese import Espoir Toyambi scored 22 points, including the game-winning basket, as University of San Carlos edged Southwestern University, 57-56, on Sunday to grab a share of the lead in the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.
Toyambi scored with 33 seconds remaining, helping USC score its fifth win in six outings and tie SWU at the top.
The victory was evened the two-teams’ season mark after the Cobras’ close 69-67 win in the first round.
Toyambi also had six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
SWU had a great start and led, 15-12, but USC quickly took over with a 10-0 run, six points coming from Toyambi. The run was capped by Toyambi’s two-handed follow-up slam that gave USC a 22-15 lead.
The Cobras stayed close throughout and tied the game at 42 at the end of the third with an acrobatic lay-up by Mark Tallo.
USC remained in front, 55-51, with a little over two minutes left after fast break buckets from Toyambi and Ian Ortega but SWU fought back and regained the driver’s seat after a corner triple from Melvin Holper and some heady plays from Tallo, who first blocked USC forward Christian Laude on one end before driving down the lane and dropping it off to import Landry Sanjo for a lay-up that made it 56-55.
Sanjo paced SWU with 16 and 10 rebounds. However, the Cameroonian struggled from the charity stripe, missing eight of 14 attempts.
Tallo had 12 points and Bernie Bregondo scored 10.
SC (57) - Toyambi 22, Laude 7, Rabat 6, Ortega 5, Olago 4, Tagapan 4, Pepito 4, Magat 3, Lim 2, Bensig 0, Malana 0, Laguyo 0, Adlawan 0.
SWU (56) - Sanjo 16, Tallo 12, Bregondo 10, Parker 7, Luz 3, Pardo 3, Holper 3, Valdor 2, Lagbas 0, Acuno 0, Racho 0.
Quarterscores: 12-15; 27-24; 42-42; 57-56.