CEBU CITY, Philippines - Cameroonian import Shooster Olago leads the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors to their ninth win this season as they thrashed the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) Jaguars, 87-74, Thursday, September 17 in the ongoing 15th CESAFI men's basketball tournament held at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Before the start of the ballgame, a moment of silence was held to pray for the soul of Karen Kaye Montebon, a 17-year-old accountancy student of USC who was murdered and allegedly raped inside her home last Tuesday, September 15.
Olago's double-double performance of 30 points and 12 rebounds earned him his third player of the game tag. He also made 4 steals and two blocks.
Charles Pepito continued with his stellar performance by accounting for 17 points for the Warriors win while Maverick Fitz Suarez contributed 13 points.
Four Jaguars finished in double figures, Ralph Jude Dinolan (19), Ricky Dyn Peromingan (13), Jaybie Mantilla (11) and Juan Miguel Gastador (11) but for a losing cause as they were not able to draw inspiration from the winning upset that they had inflicted against the defending champion Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras last Sunday, September 13.
The fight for the fourth spot has become more interesting as USJR's loss has benefited the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters whose chances to enter the final four has been bolstered as they trailed the currently fourth-ranked Jaguars at fifth with a 3-6 win-loss record. The USJR Jaguars totes a 4-6 card.
League leader USC (9-1), University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers (8-2) and SWU Cobras (7-3) are all assured of a semifinals ticket as well as an entry into the PCCL National Collegiate Championship.
The Warriors enjoyed a slim two-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 16-14, which they build up in the second quarter to 16 points, 41-25, behind the seven points of Pepito.
The game entered the second half with the Jaguars showing no sign of the spirit that they had exhibited when they surprised the SWU Cobras with Kevin Rey Villafranca not only missing his baskets but also earning 3 fouls in the first half. Further complicating life for the Jaguars was the continued miscues of their star playmaker Dinolan, who however made up for his misses by converting his gift shots. He sank nine of his 11 free throws.
The Jaguars also had to contend with Olago who scattered nine points in the third quarter alone to hand the Warriors another 16-point lead going into the final canto.
In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars tried to rally behind the efforts of Gastador, Mantilla and Peromingan but the closest they could manage was to cut the Warriors lead to just 14 points, 53-67, before the latter pulled away to a 23-point advantage on Olago's split charities with five minutes remaining in the ballgame.
The Jaguars refused to give up and eventually managed to trail by just 13 points as the final buzzer sounded.
In this Saturday's game, the SWU Cobras will try to recover from their shocking loss to the Jaguars as they face the UC Webmasters while the University of Southern Philippines (USPF) Panthers will get another chance to post a win this season as they go up against the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats.
Saturday, September 19 at New Cebu Coliseum
1 pm – UV vs USC
2:30 pm – SHS-AdC vs UC
4 pm – UC vs SWU
5:30 pm – CITU vs USPF
USC (87) – Olago 30, Pepito 17, Suarez 13, Tagapan 5, Magat 5, Laguyo 4, Maconocido 3, Ortega 2, Rabat 2, McAloney 2, Adlawan 2, Lim 0, Oleodo 0.
USJ-R (74) – Dinolan 19, Peromingan 13, Mantilla 11, Gastador 11, Labares 8, Navarra 6, Villafranca 5, Bayhonan 1, Senining 0, Risma 0, Moral 0.
Quarter Scores: 16-14; 41-25; 61-45; 87-74. – Rappler.com