USC downs UV in Game 3, moves within one win of CESAFI title
CEBU CITY, Philippines - The University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors is one game away from clinching the seniors division title of the 15th CESAFI men's basketball tournament after an 87-76 dismantling of the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers Thursday, October 15 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
With the win, the USC Warriors now leads the best-of-5 series, 2-1. USC will look to close out the series in Game 4, which takes place Saturday at 4 pm. The UV Green Lancers will be fighting for their survival, needing to win the next two games to win the championship.
The UV Green Lancers failed to contain USC Cameroonian import Shooster Olago while their own Steve Akomo, also from Cameroon, fouled out with 6:10 left in the final quarter.
Olago exploded with 17 points in the final canto alone as he sank 14 of his 16 gift shots for a total of 32 points. He also finished with 17 boards.
In contrast, Akomo only had 9 points.
Ian Jefferson Tagapan continues to play a vital role for USC, scoring 20 points while Charles Pepito also broke away from UV's defense and managed to finish in double figures with 10 points.
Jun Kent Manzo III, whose every move draws MVP chants from the spectators, once again topscored for UV with 25 points while Arvie Cabanero chipped in 11 points.
The game had 3 unsportsmanlike calls - one on USC's Christian Maconocido and two on UV's Vincent Mendoza and Francisco Arong.
With Akomo's departure from the game, USC posted their highest lead at 17 points on back-to-back baskets from Olago with 5:05 left in the final quarter.
UV then rallied to cut down the lead on the efforts of Alfred Codilla, Jerome Napao, Manzo and Arong whose rainbow shot close the gap at 10 points, 67-77, with 2:38 left.
However, USC was once again pulled away to a 16-point advantage, 85-69, anchored on the gift shots of Olago, Suarez and Dolan Adlawan.
Josue Segumpan Jr. and Cabanero worked on bringing down UV's deficit but the best that they could do was to stop it at 11 points at the end buzzer.
After UV Green Lancers opened the ballgame with a slim 3-0 lead, USC tied the game at 5-all before taking the lead as they unleashed shots from beyond the arc--one each from Tagapan, Izak Kiefer Lim, Nicolas Kyle Magat and Victor Manuel Rabat to post an 8-point lead, 21-13, going into the second quarter.
However, UV opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run that allowed then to wrestle the lead at 22-21 at the 8:39 mark.
USC managed to tie the game at 23-all but Manzo once again became unstoppable as he single-handedly kept UV in front, 42-38, at the end of the first half. The Nasipit, Agusan del Norte native had a total of 21 points in the first half including a reverse layup that had the spectators cheering.
But in the second half, USC went on a 10-point scoring spree for a 6-point lead at 50-44 which was halted by a drive from Codilla.
Nevertheless, USC refused to concede the game as they continued to pile on the points for an 8-point advantage, 62-54, going into the final canto.
UV, on the otherhand, did not seem to recover from the number of calls that went against them.
USC (87) - Olago 32, Tagapan 20, Pepito 10, Rabat 6, Ortega 4, Lim 3, McAloney 3, Magat 3, Suarez 3, Laguyo 2, Adlawan 1, Maconocido 0, Oleodo 0.
UV (76) - Manzo 25, Cabañero 11, Arong 9, Akomo 9, Santillan 6, Segumpan 5, Codilla 4, Mendoza 3, Suerte 2, Napao 2, Aguirre 0.
Quarter Scores: 21-13; 38-42; 62-54; 87-76. – Rappler.com