CEBU CITY – Southwestern University edged University of San Jose-Recoletos, 81-78, to start their semifinal stint in the 8th Cesafi Partner’s Cup on a rousing note on Saturday at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Phinma Cobras led by eight points midway through the fourth period but suddenly lost focus and allowed the Jaguars to come within a point, 78-79, with only 33.3 ticks remaining.
USJ-R briefly gained possession after Tricky Peromingan chased down SWU’s Shaquille Imperial and blocked his lay-up attempt.
But Imperial pursued the ball and stole it back leading to Mac Tallo and Quintin Nzusi splitting their charities to pad SWU’s lead to three, 81-78 with 11.8 seconds left. The Mighty Sports Jaguars still had a shot to tie the game but Miguel Gastador hurriedly shot a three that was way off the mark as time expired, to give the Cobras the victory.
Nzusi stuck it to his former team, registering 19 points and 13 rebounds. Tallo finished with 17 markers and six boards while rookie forward Darwin Barte tallied 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Jun Luz also had 12 points and five assists.
Cesafi Mythical Five forward RJ Dinolan led USJ-R in scoring with 26 points.