UNIVERSITY of San Carlos and University of San Jose-Recoletos downed their respective rivals on Saturday at the USC gym in Cebu to secure twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinals of the 13th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament.
The Jaguars outlasted the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers, 68-58, while the Warriors came back from a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat the University of Cebu Webmasters, 67-64, in a fight-marred game.
USJ-R and USC are tied for third place with 3-2 win-loss records. They face off on Tuesday with the winner getting the third seed and the loser settling for the fourth seed.
With a spot in the top four at stake, the two teams literally fought for it in the second period and USC’s Charles Pepito and Dominic Adlawan along with UC’s Windell Santander got ejected for their roles in a melee with 6:11 left.
African import Ahmed Salihou completed a three-point play that pushed the Warriors ahead, 64-61, with 35.5 seconds remaining.
The Webmasters had a chance to tie the game but their next play went haywire, resulting in a steal by the Warriors’ Stephen Que. Salihou and Christian Laude then sealed the win with three free-throws before UC point guard Junas Misa settled the final score with a three-pointer at the horn.
Salihou had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Victor Rabat added 14 points while Laude chipped in 12 markers and eight boards.
USC (67) - Salihou 18, Rabat 14, Laude 12, Plata 7, Que 5, Magat 4, Romaguera 3, Amin 2, Ortega 2, Lim 0, Adlawan 0, Pepito 0, Guardiario 0.
UC (64) - Auditor 13, Gomez 9, Villanueva 9, Espiritu 8, Asis 7, Misa 6, Sigasig 5, Niones 5, Miranda 2, Tamparong 0, Roche 0, Santander 0, Montilla 0.
Quarterscores: 17-19; 29-37; 51-50; 67-64.