CEBU CITY — University of San Carlos regained the lead in Cesafi after outlasting University of Cebu, 87-73, on Tuesday at the Cebu Coliseum.
Coming off a 31-point defeat at the hands of the University of the Visayas on Sunday, the Warriors found their groove late to take the win and finish the double round-robin elimination round with a 10-2 win-loss record, half a game ahead of the idle Green Lancers.
Four players scored in double-figures for USC with wingman Ian Tagapan leading the charge with a near double-double of 20 points and nine rebounds.
Victor Rabat scored 17, rookie big man William McAloney had 15 points and seven boards, while Charles Pepito had a double-double of 13 points and 12 boards before sitting out the last four minutes with an ankle sprain.
Cameroonian reinforcement Shooster Olago was curiously made fielded just five minutes in the first period and seven in the third, scoring just six points.
The Webmasters were within 67-73 with 3:54 to go when Warriors reserve guard Gio Laguyo and Ian Tagapan converted on fastbreak lay-ups to bring the lead to 77-67.
After UC responded with a lay-up from JR Puerto to cut the lead back to eight, Laguyo split his charities and Tagapan splashed in a three-pointer from the right wing to give the Warriors an 81-69 lead and put the victory in USC’s bag.
The loss was a costly one for UC and its semifinal hopes as it dropped the squad to 4-7.
Puerto scored 22 points, Justine Dacalos had 11 and Jabello scored 10 for UC, which will battle University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars for the right to advance to the semifinal round on Saturday.
USC 87 - Tagapan 20, Rabat 17, McAloney 15, Pepito 13, Olago 6, Laguyo 6, Ortega 4, Magat 4, Suarez 4, Lim 0, Oleodo 0.
UC 73 - Puerto 22, Dacalos 11, Jabello 10, Butohan 8, Mayol 7, Culango 6, Montilla 4, Suelto 3, Tagudin 2, Codilla 0, Santander 0, Grafilo 0, Luzares 0.
Quarterscores: 20-8; 33-29; 65-49; 87-73.