USJR Jaguars boost semifinal bid as USPF Panthers end Cesafi campaign winless
Forward RJ Dinolan is one of four Jaguars who scored in double figures against the lowly Panthers. Ron Tolin

CEBU CITY — University of San Jose-Recoletos took a step closer towards clinching the last ticket to the semifinals after beating University of Southern Philippines Foundation, 88-81, in the 15th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Tuesday night at the Cebu Coliseum.

With the double round-robin elimination round down to a single playdate, the Jaguars hold a 5-6 win-loss card, a game ahead of University of Cebu, whose loss to University of San Carlos dropped them to 4-7.

UC and USJ-R clash on Saturday. A win by USJ-R would give the Jaguars the final semis ticket while a win by UC would forge a three-way tie with Cebu Institute of Technology-University, which would be broken by quotient.

Rookie Miguel Gastador had a career-high 22 points, highlighted by a one-handed putback slam off a missed free-throw in the fourth period. The 5-foot-10 guard also had nine rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block.

Kevin Villafranca scored 16, RJ Dinolan had 15 points and nine boards, while rookie guard Jaybie Mantilla added 13 points.

The Panthers, in their comeback from a one-year hiatus from the league, finished the season without a win in 12 games. Brandford Borces scored 18, while Wisdom Ceniza chipped in 17 for the Panthers.


The scores:

USJ-R 88 - Gastador 22, Villafranca 16, Dinolan 15, Mantilla 13, Risma 8, Bayhonan 5, Labares 5, Navarra 4, Peromingan 0, Senining 0, Moral 0.

USPF 81 - Borces 18, Ceniza 17, Bajamunde 10, Bolivar 8, Colina 7, Avanceña 6, Alocillo 5, Quiachon 4, Sastrillas 3, Langahin 3, Laver 0, Patalinghug 0.

Quarterscores: 22-19; 42-31; 66-56; 88-81.

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