USC takes Game 1 in CESAFI finals
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors drew first blood in the seniors division Best of Five title series of the 15th CESAFI men's basketball tournament, 1-0, streaking past the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers, 76-70, Sunday, October 11 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Ian Jefferson Tagapan had a huge role in USC winning Game 1 as he finished with 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Tagapan also grabbed 4 rebounds and managed two assists and two steals.
The Warriors also relied heavily on their Cameroonian import Shooster Olago, who finished with a double-double performance of 19 points and 12 rebounds. He also had two steals and two blocks.
UV was missing one of its top gunners in Leonard Santillan, who sprained his ankle during practice. In his absence, June Kent Manzo III led the Green Lancers with 23 points while their own import, Steve Akomo, who is also from Cameroon, delivered 16 points, 11 rebounds and one steal.
The two teams were neck to neck in the first quarter with the game deadlocked twice before the Warriors was able to pull away to a 6-point advantage, 10-4, at the 6:30 mark following a rainbow shot each from Nicolas Kyle Magat and Caesar Ian Ortega.
But the Green Lancers rallied and the game was tied two more times before the Warriors managed to eke out a one-point lead, 16-15, going into the second quarter.
The Green Lancers then took the upperhand in the second canto as they went on an 11-0 run to post an 8-point lead, 26-18, before Akomo fouled Charles Pepito, who split his charities.
The Warriors slowly cut down the Green Lancers' lead until they were able to tie the game at 31-all on one of Olago's gift baskets and from there USC was back in the lead, ending the first half in their favor, 36-32, as the Green Lancers seemingly got affected by the successive bad calls made against Manzo.
In the second half, USC extended their lead by as much as 10 points while Akomo was assessed his fourth personal foul with 6:25 to go before the final canto.
The Green Lancers was trailing by as much as 15 points at the final 2-minute mark, but refused to concede and even managed to come as close as 4 points, 69-73, on Akomo's basket with 15.8 seconds left.
However, Olago sank three gift baskets which he earned by getting fouled by Vincent Mendoza and Jerome Napao and sealed the win for USC.
October 13, 6 pm at New Cebu Coliseum
Game 2 - UV vs USC
USC (76) – Olago 19, Tagapan 15, Pepito 10, Rabat 9, Ortega 8, Magat 5, McAloney 4, Laguyo 2, Suarez 2.
UV (70) – Manzo 23, Akomo 16, Segumpan 8, Arong 6, Mendoza 4, Suerte 4, Cabanero 3, Aguirre 2, Balabag 2, Napao 2.
Quarter scores: 16-15; 36-32; 55-45; 76-70. – Rappler.com