CEBU CITY – The University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars came all the way back from a 14-point deficit in the fourth period to stun the University of the Visayas Green Lancers, 73-67, in the 16th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Saturday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Despite missing guards Josue Segumpan and Tristan Albina due to injuries, the Green Lancers dominated the first 35 minutes and even held a 59-45 edge at the onset of the fourth before suddenly crumbling in the face of the Jaguars’ relentless pressure defense.
The Green Lancers lost for only the second time in eight matches.
USJ-R, on the hand, got a stellar performance from crafty guard Jaybie Mantilla who spearheaded the comeback by scoring 10 of his 16 points in the final canto to help give the Jaguars their fifth victory against three losses. The 5-foot-7 guard added eight rebounds and four assists.
Also key down the stretch were RJ Dinolan, Tricky Peromingan and Miguel Gastador who all played a part in the searing 14-0 blast that turned a 59-66 deficit into a 73-66 lead with under a minute to go. Dinolan and Peromingan had 18 apiece while Gastador scored 16, pulled down eight boards and had six steals.
UV’s Liberian forward Bassiere Sackour scored on a putback with 4:09 to go to give the Lancers a 66-59 lead with 4:09 to go in the contest.
But Peromingan sparked the game-defining run with a triple that was followed by a free-throw by Mantilla, a deuce by Dinolan and a steal and a lay-up by Gastador that put USJ-R in front, 67-66, 3:07 left.
Moments later, Mantilla sealed the victory with a spectacular double-pump fadeaway jumper over the outstretched arms of Sackour and two free-throws that padded their lead to five, 71-66, with just 26.6 ticks to go.
UV got 22 points and 12 rebounds from Sackour, 14 from Rey Suerte and 13 from reserve forward Jayson Balabag.
USJ-R (73) - Dinolan 18, Peromingan 18, Mantilla 16, Gastador 16, Navarra 2, Catiloc 2, Jopia 1, Sealana 0, Nuñez 0.
UV (67) - Sackor 22, Suerte 14, Balabag 13, Codilla 6, Napao 5, Saga 4, Gahi 4, Soliva 0, Macion 0.
Quarterscores: 19-18; 29-38; 45-55; 73-67