CEBU CITY – The University of the Visayas Green Lancers nearly flubbed a 19-point second half lead but held on in the end to beat the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars, 77-70, in the 16th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Thursday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Green Lancers blitzed the undermanned Jaguars at the start of the third period with a 13-4 blast capped by a pull-up jumper by veteran guard Alfred Codilla that gave them a 56-37 advantage, 3:28 left in that stretch.
But the Jaguars, down to 10 men due to the academic ineligibility of some of their key players, fought back with 16-4 blast anchored on the torrid scoring of RJ Dinolan and Miguel Gastador to trim the deficit to seven, 53-60, heading to the fourth.
USJ-R continued their pursuit and pulled within 68-71 after another bucket by Dinolan, less than two minutes remaining.
The Lancers, however, kept their composure and swung the ball over to guard Rey Suerte who drove hard along the baseline and flipped in a lay-up while getting fouled.
The prized find from Davao missed the bonus free-throw but scrapped to recover the loose ball and put it back to give UV a 75-68 lead with just 1:19 left.
Gastador splashed in a long two on USJ-R’s offensive but lost track of a streaking Sheldon Gahi who leaked out and made an uncontested lay-up with 31 ticks left to seal the victory for the Lancers.
UV’s Liberian reinforcement Bassiere Sackour finished with a monster double-double of 17 points and 19 rebounds laced with two blocked shots while Codilla added 11. Suerte finished the match with 10 to help his team win their second game in a row and take the early lead in the standings.
Dinolan led USJ-R with a near double-double of 22 points and nine rebounds while Gastador had 18. Spunky guard Jaybie Mantilla tallied 11 points, eight boards and four assists but it wasn’t enough to keep the Jaguars from falling to 1-1.
UV (77) - Sackour 17, Codilla 11, Suerte 10, Napao 9, Segumpan 8, Albina 8, Gahi 5, Soliva 5, Balabag 2, Macion 2
USJ-R - (70) Dinolan 22, Gastador 18, Mantilla 11, Navarra 6, Pastias 4, Jopia 3, Catiloc 2, Peromingan 2, Nunez 2
Quarterscores: 21-14, 41-26, 60-53, 77-70