CEBU CITY – The University of San Carlos Warriors flipped the switch in the second half to eventually turn the lights off on the Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats, 60-39, for their third win in a row in the 17th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Sunday night at the New Cebu Coliseum.
USC remains the only unbeaten team in the tournament, pacing the field with a 3-0 win-loss record.
The Warriors let the Wildcats hang around, even trailing 26-28, at halftime before refocusing in the third canto, which they ended with a 9-1 run, capped by a triple from big man Kent Cabanog for a 41-34 lead headed to the fourth.
USC clamped down harder on defense and held CIT-U to just five points in the game’s final stretch, and finished the game on a 14-2 blast to log in the lopsided win. In all, the Wildcats scored a mere 11 points in the final 20 minutes of action.
Malcolm Tan swished four free-throws, Victor Rabat canned a booming triple from the right wing and Lucky Ecarma and John Reel Saycon sank several transition buckets in that game-deciding rally.
Tan finished with 15 points and nine rebounds while reserve wingman Magic Marata chipped in 11 points. Rabat added 10 markers.
Nobody reached double-figures for CIT-U. The team’s leading scorer, Mark Kong, was held down to just three points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field.
The Wildcats are at the bottom of the heap with a 0-3 mark.
USC (60) Tan 15, Marata 11, Rabat 10, Saycon 6, Cadavis 4, Araw-araw 3, Cabañog 3, Oleodo 3, Ecarma 2, Trangia 2, Labiste 1
CIT- U (39) -Muñez 8, Rosell 7, Bucao 6, Con-ui 5, Nemil 4, Kong 3, Berezo 2, Laguna 2, Mumar 2
Quarterscores: 12-15, 26-28, 41-34, 60-39