CEBU CITY — The Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras finally regained their shooting touch as they torched the struggling University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, 77-59 in the 2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) men’s basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum on Thursday.
Veteran two-guard Shaquille Imperial led the Cobras in scoring with 18 points while Senegalese wingman Lamine Thiam filled the stat-sheet up with 14 points, 20 rebounds, three assists, a steal and two blocked shots.
The win allowed the Cobras to end the first round with a 4-2 (win-loss) record, good for second place in the standings.
After suffering two straight losses, the Cobras came out firing on all cylinders and built a 30-18 lead at halftime. They continued to step on the gas pedal in the third period with Thiam and Imperial fueling a 13-4 run with a trio of three-point shots to raise their lead to 19, 42-23.
They eventually brought their lead to 23, 52-29, after wingman Gerald Fernandez completed an and-one right before the third period buzzer.
The closest that USJ-R could trim the deficit down to was 14 as the Cobras proved unyielding, scoring in transition over and over again to log in the dominant victory and hand USJ-R its fifth loss in a row.USJ-R fell to 1-5. Left-handed point guard Renz Solomon was the lone player to reach double-figures with 14 markers.