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.
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.