CEBU CITY, Philippines - Last year’s runner-up University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors got a measure of payback against Southwestern University after defeating the champions in their first game of the 2015 season of the Cebu Schools Athletic Association, Inc. (CESAFI), 76-64, at Cebu Coliseum in downtown Cebu City on Sunday, August 2.
SWU, which was missing several big men from its lineup due to academic problems, had no answers for USC import Shooster Olago, who had 21 rebounds - 11 of them on the offensive end - to go with 14 points, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Not only did the Cobras having trouble with Olago, they also had to contend with the Warriors 3-point shooters in Nicolas Kyle Magat and Ian Jefferson Tagapan.
The Cobras were only able to significantly cut into the Warriors lead, which ballooned to 18 points at some point in the game, when Magat rested in the third quarter.
Mark Jayven Tallo provided a steadying presence for the Cobras but couldn't really do much when Warriors swarmed him when he got his hands on the ball. Tallo’s teammates couldn’t had trouble finding the net whenever he would dish off in double coverage.
Also making his presence felt for the Cobras was Melvin Holper, who made life difficult for the Warriors, particularly in the fourth quarter.
USC took the lead in every quarter but Jovanie Luz set up a heated fourth quarter when he scored 4 straight points, the first two on charities as a result of Tagapan's second personal foul, and cutting the Warriors lead to a point, 49-50, with only seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The changed hands several times in the opening minutes of the final canto with Cobras' Jesse Bautista eventually tying the game at 56-all drawing a foul. He then sank his charity to give the Cobras the lead at 57-56.
Mark Christopher Racho then gave the Cobras a three-point lead at 59-56.
However, Maverick Fitz Suarez set the tone for the Warriors comeback by keeping his team within a point of the Cobras.
Rabat then gave the lead back to the Warriors on a fastbreak, 60-59. The Warriors further pulled away with Magat finding his way to the basket again and Shooster eventually sinking his free throws.
The Warriors eventually ended the game with a 12-point advantage after they capitalized on the personal fouls of Tallo and Holper.
In the first game of the day, the USC Baby Warriors also posted a commanding 102-33 victory over the Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC) Baby Greywolves.
In other games, the high school and college teams of the University of the Visayas (UV) also went away with easy wins after their opponents from the Cebu Institute of Technology University (CITU) forfeited in their matches.
CESAFI commissioner Felix "Boy" Tiukinhoy gave the win to UV because according to him CITU was given ample time to comply with the medical requirements but failed to do so.
USC Warriors (76) - Magat 16, Olagon 14, Pepito 12, Tagapan 11, Ortega 6, Lim 5, Suarez 4, Laguyo 2, McAloney 0.
SWU Cobras (64) - Tallo 14, Luz 12, Holper 11, Pardo 9, Racho 7, Bautista 5, Auditor 4, Clam 0, Gonzaga 0.
Quarter Scores: 20-16, 32-26, 50-49, 76-64
UV Green Lancers won over CIT-U Wildcats via forfeit
UV Baby Lancers won over CIT-U Wildkittens via forfeit
USC Baby Warriors (102) - Smith 13, Laurente 11, Fontanosa 11, Mangaron 9, Canieso 9, Ranudo 8, Gato 8, Bande 6, Pakanna 5, Damolo 4, Mendez 4, Chavez 4, Mendoza 4, Macandog 4, Octaviano 2
DBTC Baby Greywolves (33) - Dela Torre 9, Sta. Cruz 6, Gabisay 4, Duque 4, Macam 4, Adlawan 2, Descartin 2, Ciabo 1, Quieta 1, Saludes 0, Lim 0, Mabitad 0, Larunde 0, Jumao-as 0, Canoneo 0.
Quarter Scores: 19-4, 49-10, 82-23, 102-33