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CEBU CITY, Philippines – Defending champion Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras are keen on salvaging third place as they demolished the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, 84-66, to take a 1-0 lead in the best of 3 battle for third place series in the collegiate division of the 15th CESAFI men’s basketball tournament last Tuesday, October 6 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Mark Jayven “Macmac” Tallo earned the best player of the ballgame honors with his double-double performance of 20 points and 10 rebounds. He also finished with 5 assists and 2 steals.
Tallo received a much needed help from Mark Christopher Racho who had another game high of 19 points.
The USJ-R Jaguars, whose gunners were having trouble connecting with the net, was led by their star playmaker Ralph Jude Dinolan who had 18 points and Mark Louie Labares who chipped in 12 points.
While the Jaguars opened the ballgame with a 4-0 run, the Cobras easily caught up and took an 11-point advantage, 22-11, at the end of the first quarter anchored on triple shots from Antonio Tomas Pardo, Jovanie Luz, Melvin Holper, who had 2, and Tallo.
In the second quarter, the Jaguars continue to miss their shots and saw the Cobras lead balloon to 19 points, 46-27, at the halftime break.
Emboldened by the seemingly continued lackluster performance of the Jaguars, the Cobras surged ahead to post their biggest lead at 30 points, 63-33, with 3:55 left going into the final canto.
The Jaguars finally found their mark in the final quarter but by then, it was already too late to stop the Cobras from taking Game 1.
The Jaguars will have to win Game 2 and force a decider, otherwise they will have to settle for the 4th place honors.
Game schedule – Thursday, October 8 at New Cebu Coliseum
5:15 pm – SHS-AdC vs UC (Game 2 Best of 3 Juniors Championships)
6:45 pm – SWU vs USJ-R (Game 2 Best of 3 Seniors 3rd Place)
SWU (84) – Tallo 20, Racho 19, Bautista 10, Luz 10, Holper 9, Auditor 8, Pardo 4, Clam 2, Gonzaga 0.
USJ-R (66) – Dinolan 18, Labares 12, Villafranca 8, Gastador 7, Paon 7, Peromingan 6, Moral 4, Senining 1, Bayhonan 0, Mantilla 0, Risma 0.
Quarter Scores: 22-11; 46-27; 69-41; 84-66. – Rappler.com