DEFENSING champion Southwestern University moved closer to an outright semifinal berth with a 79-58 rout of University of San Jose-Recoletos in the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Cobras started strong but had to weather a comeback attempt by the Jaguars in the third canto, putting away their opponents for good with a huge 20-3 run that bridged the third and fourth periods to capture their fifth win in a row.
SWU is now a win away from sweeping the elimination round and gaining some much-needed rest heading to the double round-robin semifinals.
The tournament format has the top ranked team automatically qualifying for the semis while teams ranked two to seven will play in the quarterfinal round.
African import Landry Sanjo had another solid outing as he led the Cobras with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Guard Mark Jayven Tallo added 14 points and four boards, while Daryl Goloran chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds.
USJ-R suffered greatly from the measly four-point output of their vaunted backcourt combination of James Regalado and Rendell Senining.
Senining did not score his first basket until the fourth period when the game was well out of reach.
The Cobras started off strong and had a 38-29 lead at halftime. The Jaguars stormed back with a 12-4 run led by Christian Parker, whose three-point play off an alley-oop pass by Senining got them within one, 41-42.
But the Cobras retaliated and took a 56-44 lead heading to the final period.
Parker led the way for USJ-R with 19 points while his brother Matthew added 10. The Jaguars fell to an even 2-2 win-loss card.