CEBU CITY — University of San Carlos came back from a 15-point deficit to defeat University of Southern Philippines Foundation, 76-72, in a game marred by a melee with just 2.5 seconds remaining on Thursday in the Cesafi basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.
USC was ahead by five, 76-71, when USPF’s Steven Ursal and USC’s Kenneth Brillo got tangled up in a battle for the loose ball. In a review of video footage of the incident, Ursal was seen throwing a punch to Brillo’s face and the latter retaliated with three punches before the two were separated by their teammates.
The two were ejected, as well as USC’s Froilan Mangubat who officials say was seen entering the court during the commotion.
The incident overshadowed Magic Marata’s heroics at the end of the fourth period where he made a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 63, forcing overtime.
In the extra session, another triple by Marata and a free-throw by Mangubat moved USC in front, 73-70, with 47.6 seconds to go. Several possessions later, a putback by Sommy Managor and another free-throw by Jules Langres gave USC a 76-71 lead before the commotion.
Langres led USC with 29 points, 13 coming in the third when the Warriors rallied from 23-38 deficit. Marata ended up with 17 markers to help the Warriors improve their win-loss record to 5-3.
USPF suffered their third loss in a row in the second round and fell further out of the Final Four race with a 3-6 mark.