CEBU CITY – Rookie forward John Reel Saycon saved the University of San Carlos as his four-point play with 20 seconds to go lifted the Warriors over the Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats, 59-55, in the 17th Cesafi basketball tournament on Sunday at the Cebu Coliseum.
Tied at 55 after the Wildcats came roaring back from a 10-point deficit, Saycon found an opening at the top of the arc and let it fly, making the shot while getting fouled by CIT-U guard Steven Bucao who was late to contest. Saycon made the free throw for the final coount.
Saycon then stole CIT-U’s inbound pass but threw an errant outlet pass to give the Wildcats another chance. However, USC guard Arc Gabrielle Araw-Araw stole the ball from CIT-U’s Vincent Laguna and dribbled the clock away to secure USC’s sixth win in eight matches.
Former Arellano University big man Julius Cadavis led the Warriors with 14 points and eight rebounds while Saycon had 13 points, seven boards, five assists and two steals.
Jemcerson Sable had his best outing of the season for the Wildcats with 17 points, including five straight points that put his team ahead, 55-53, before USC’s Kent Cabanog knotted the count at 55-all with a short jumper with 2:08 to go.
Mariel Munez had 12 points and 12 rebounds for CIT-U, which absorbed its seventh loss in eight matches.
USC 59 — Cadavis 14, Saycon 13, Ecarma 9, Cabanog 6, Mangubat 6, Tan 4, Rabat 4, Oleodo 2, Araw-Araw 1.
CIT-U 55 — Sable 17, Munez 12, Kong 8, Rosell 6, Laguna 6, Con-ui 4, Bucao 2.