CEBU CITY — University of San Carlos gained a share of the lead, beating University of San Jose-Recoletos, 90-75, in the 15th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Thursday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
It was the fourth straight win for the Warriors tied idle University of the Visayas ahead of their showdown on Saturday.
In what was a heated game that saw two players get ejected on top of several unsportsmanlike and technical fouls, the Warriors wound up on top as they pulled away at the start of the final period.
Cameroonian import Shooster Olago dominated USJ-R’s undersized frontline and came up with 24 points and 11 rebounds despite getting into early foul trouble.
Charles Pepito also had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Victor Rabat scored 16. Ian Tagapan celebrated the birth of his first child with a dozen markers.
The Warriors entered the second half with a 49-27 lead but the Jaguars fought back and used a 19-6 blast to trim the deficit, 45-55.
But the intensity of that rally also cost the Jaguars dearly as a looseball scuffle led to the ejection of reserves Kent Moral and Ferdinand Risma, who left their bench and entered the court during the melee.
The Warriors ended the third on an 8-3 run to head to the fourth with a 67-51 lead. They then put the Jaguars away with a 15-3 start that saw Rabat can two triples and Olago and Pepito taking turns scoring inside to build an 82-54 lead.
RJ Dinolan scored 19 points for the Jaguars, who suffered their fourth loss in five games.
Jaybie Mantilla scored 18, Mac Labares added 17 but USJ-R star forward Kevin Villafranca could only come up with six points.
In the juniors division, Sacred Heart School soared to their fifth straight, downing USJ-R, 69-44.
Former Batang Gilas guard Jed Colonia had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Patrick Yuhit four triples and finished with 15 points.
USC (90) -- Olago 24, Pepito 17, Rabat 16, Tagapan 12, Laguyo 9, McAloney 6, Magat 4, Suarez 2, Maconocido 0, Ortega 0, Adlawan 0, Oleodo 0.
USJ-R (75) -- Dinolan 19, Mantilla 18, Labares 17, Senining 6, Villafranca 6, Navarra 5, Gastador 4, Risma 0, Peromingan 0.
Quarterscores: 32-12; 49-27; 67-51; 90-75.
SHS-AdC (69) -- Colonia 16, P. Yu 15, Pastor 9, Visser 6, Bersaluna 5, Velasco 5, Calumpang 4, J. Yu 4, Chua 3, Chen 2, Mantua 0, Javelosa 0, Manaytay 0.
USJ-R (44) -- Gonzaga 20, Ando 8, Ortiz 4, Dado 4, Enriquez 2, Teleron 2, Leonora 2, Ibero 2, Cruz 0, Camacho 0, Dela Cruz 0, Cabatingan 0.
Quarterscores: 15-8; 36-21; 52-34; 69-44.