CEBU CITY – Reigning league MVP Mark Jayven Tallo scored half of the points in a telling 10-0 run that helped defending champions Southwestern University Cobras pull off a 71-62 win over the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars in the 15th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Sunday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Tallo, who had received a tongue-lashing from SWU’s fiery head coach Yayoy Alcoseba just moments before, sparked the decisive breakaway with a corner triple and two free throws before Anton Pardo hit another corner three-pointer to put the game away, 69-56, with a minute left to play.
The former La Salle guard had his fourth double-double in a row with 13 points and 13 rebounds along with four assists and five steals. SWU holds a 3-1 win-loss card, good for third place behind the unbeaten University of the Visayas Green Lancers and the University of San Carlos Warriors.
Pardo continued his hot shooting streak with 15 points, racking up five three-pointers just a game after making five from beyond the arc against the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers.
Mac Racho came off the bench to chip in 14 points and eight rebounds while Filipino-Samoan bruiser Juju Bautista manned the middle with fervor with 12 points and 16 boards.
USJ-R fell further down the standings at 1-3 as they struggled to get much from star forward Kevin Villafranca, who was held down to just eight. RJ Dinolan led USJ-R with 14 while rookies Miguel Gastador and Ricky Peromingan combined for 23.
SWU (71) - Pardo 15, Racho 14, Tallo 13, Bautista 12, Auditor 7, Holper 7, Luz 3, Clam 0, Gonzaga 0.
USJ-R (62) - Dinolan 14, Gastador 12, Peromingan 11, Villafranca 8, Mantilla 7, Labares 4, Navarra 4, Moral 0, Risma 0.
Quarterscores: 14-11; 32-33; 51-44; 71-62.