USC Warriors frustrate CIT-U to deal heavy blow on Wildcats' semis hopes
Ian Tagapan scores one against the Wildcats. Photo courtesy of Ron Tollin

CEBU CITY – University of San Carlos dimmed the semifinal chances of Cebu Institute of Technology-University with an 83-70 beating in the 15th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.

Rain fell hard here on Tuesday night, but so did the three-pointers for the Warriors as rookie guard Christian Maconocido and veteran forward Nico Magat sparked a second period breakaway with consecutive triples turned a close 16-15 game into a 29-17 gap.

Play was halted for nearly 20 minutes during the stretch as rainwater seeped in from the porous roof of the playing venue.

But not even the brief rest could cool down Maconocido as he took turns with Ian Tagapan in punching holes in the Wildcats’ defense of the Wildcats.

Tagapan scored on consecutive transition attacks, while Maconocido punched in a three-pointer from the wing to push the Warriors’ lead to 59-37, midway in the third period.

USC cruised from there as it notched their eighth win in nine games.

Tagapan led the Warriors with 13 points, while the frontcourt combo of Shooster Olago and Charles Pepito gave fits to CIT-U’s interior defenders, with the Cameroonian big man scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds and the veteran power forward chiming in with a double-double of 12 markers and 12 boards.

Nico Magat added 11 points for USC.

Allan Dimco and Joshua dela Cerna had muted games of 15 points each as CIT-U dropped to 4-7 for fifth place behind University of San Jose-Recoletos, which is currently at fourth spot with a 4-5 card and in contention for the last semifinals berth.



The scores

USC (83) -- Tagapan 13, Olago 12, Pepito 12, Magat 11, Maconocido 9, McAloney 8, Lim 5, Ortega 5, Rabat 4, Laguyo 3, Suarez 0, Oleodo 0.

CIT-U (70) -- Dimco 15, Dela Cerna 15, Bucao 14, Pono 8, Kong 7, Sanchez 4, Muñez 3, Lucena 2, Maglasang 2, Mumar 0, Marquez 0.

Quarterscores: 29-17; 44-31; 69-47; 83-70.

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