CESAFI: USJ-R Jaguars down USC Warriors as SWU Cobras go up 10-0
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars won back-to-back with a 75-69 outsmarting of defending champion University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors in the Sunday, September 18 collegiate games of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc (CESAFI) at the New Cebu Coliseum.
With the win, the Jaguars improved their win-loss record to 6-3, the same record as the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers. However, the Green Lancers are at second place while the Jaguars remain at third owing to their points difference.
Both teams have split their two meetings with the Green Lancers defeating the Jaguars in the first round of elimination and the Jaguars getting back at them in the second round. However, UV beat USJ-R by 7 points while USJ-R beat UV only by 6 points.
Prior to USJ-R’s victory, the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras kept their record clean as they now hold a 10-0 win-loss record after outlasting the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers, 79-72.
With their 10-0 record, the Cobras are now assured of a semifinals ticket despite having 2 more assignments before the eliminations end.
With 7 teams seeing action in the collegiate contest, only the top team will automatically advance to semifinal round. The rest will advance to the quarterfinal round with teams 2, 3 and 4 enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage against teams 5, 6 and 7.
The USC Warriors, on the other hand, still own the 4th spot with a 5-5 slate.
Mantilla is Best Player for 4th time
Jaybie Mantilla, who seemed to be everywhere in the ballgame, finished with a double-double performance of 18 points and 12 rebounds and picked up his fourth Best Player tag for the season.
Although teammate Ralph Jude “RJ” Dinolan contributed the highest number of points at 23, Mantilla gets the Best Player of the Game honors as his effort had more impact in USJ-R’s win, especially in the last two minutes of the ballgame. Mantilla also made 6 assists and two steals.
Another Jaguar who contributed double figures was Nelvin Navarra who finished with 10 points.
The USC Warriors was once again towed by Kevin Oleodo who also had 23 points after going 6-of-7 in 3-point field goals. Import Scothy Ntumba and Conrad Catapusan also chipped in 13 points each. However, all their numbers went for naught.
Both teams were coming from wins in their previous games but it was the Jaguars who were able to draw inspiration. While USC led by 3 points, 49-46, going into the final quarter, the Jaguars quickly caught up to tie the game at 55-all on one of the gift shots of Juan Miguel Gastador, who was fouled by Lucky Ecarma.
The game then got tied 4 more times, the last at 67-all on the two charities of Mantilla inside the last 2-minute mark of the ballgame. Mantilla then scored again at the 1:26 mark to give USJ-R a two-point lead, 69-67.
Ntumba had a chance to once again tie the ballgame but he failed to convert his charities when he was fouled by Victor Nunez.
In the return play, Mantilla was once again instrumental in passing the ball to Navarra, who was wide open for a jumper and pulled the Jaguars further ahead by 71-67.
Victor Emmanuel Rabat had the chance to bring the Warriors closer when he was fouled by Dinolan but he also missed both his free throws.
Catapusan was successful in cutting USJ-R’s lead to just a basket, 69-71, however, Mantilla ran down the shot clock and timed his pass perfectly to Navarra, who immediately pulled up for a jumper for a 73-69 lead.
Mantilla eventually sealed USJ-R’s win by sinking both gift shots he earned when he was fouled by Jules Langres.
In the high school contest, the UV Baby Lancers climbed to the second spot with their 86-49 lambasting of the SWU-Phinma Baby Cobras.
While UV improved its win-loss record to 6-3 with still one more game in the elimination round, the SWU-Phinma Baby Cobras ended their comeback with a 3-6 slate, good enough for 7th place. The last time that the SWU fielded a junior team in the CESAFI basketball contest was in 2001.
The other high school game saw the Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons ending the campaign of the Cebu Institute of Technology University (CIT-U) Wildkittens with no wins, 67-48, a first in CESAFI history. Constantly finishing at the top 4 in the last few years, the last time that they advanced to the semifinals was in 2014.
While the Wildkittens exited as the cellar dweller with an 0-9 card, the Dragons end the elimination with a similar 6-3 win-loss record as University of Cebu Junior Webmasters and Don Bosco Technological Center (DBTC) Greywolves.
USJ-R Jaguars (75): Dinolan 23, Mantilla 18, Navarra 10, Gastador 7, Peromingan 6, Catiloc 5, Nuñez 4, Pastias 2.
USC Warriors (69): Oleodo 23, Catapusan 13, Ntumba 13, Langres 6, Tagapan 5, Ecarma 3, Laguyo 2, Rabat 2, Muñez 2.
Games September 20, Tuesday:
5:15 p.m. USJ-R vs UV (HS)
6:45 p.m. USJ-R vs UC (College)
Team Standings as of September 18:
1. SWU-PHINMA - 10-0
2. UV - 6-3
3. USJ-R - 6-3
4. USC - 5-5
5. UC - 3-6
6. USPF - 2-7
7. CIT-U - 0-8
1. SHS-Ateneo - 8-1 **
2. UV - 6-2 *
3. UC - 6-3 *
4. DBTC - 6-3 *
5. CEC - 6-3
6. USJ-R - 4-4 *
7. SWU-PHINMA - 3-6
8. USC - 3-6
9. USPF - 2-7
10. CIT-U - 0-9
** Clinch automatic semifinals berth
* Clinch playoff berth