CEBU CITY – The University of San Carlos Warriors solidified their grip on second place after escaping with a 74-70 victory over the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament on Thursday at the Cebu Coliseum.
Import Shooster Olago submitted impressive numbers of 24 points, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks but it was the career game of forward Charles Pepito that stood out as he had 22 points, 12 of which came in the first period when the Warriors forged ahead, 26-16.
The victory was USC’s fourth in a row after losing its opening day assignment to Southwestern University.
The Jaguars stayed within striking distance all game long and pulled within four, 70-74, after a three-point play by Iron Suano and a lay-up by Nelvin Navarra with 15.5 seconds remaining.
USJ-R quickly fouled USC guard Ramon Asuncion who missed two free-throws, leaving the door open for the Jaguars. But USJ-R could not capitalize as they turned the ball over on their next possession, sealing its fourth loss against a lone win this season.
USC (74) - Olago 24, Pepito 22, Rabat 10, Adlawan 5, Laude 4, Toyambi 4, Magat 4, Lim 2, Tagapan 1, Malana 0, Bensig 0, Asuncion 0, Laguyo 0.
USJ-R (70) - Villafranca 19, Nzuzi 11, Galvez 11, Regalado 7, Suano 7, Labares 5, Catipay 5, Navarra 3, Senining 2, Custan 0, Tan 0.
Quarterscores: 26-16, 43-34, 62-54, 74-70.