CEBU CITY, Philippines - The Cebu Institute of Technology University (CIT-U) Wildcats stayed alive in the 2016 CESAFI tournament after forging a rubber match against the number two seed, the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, in the quarterfinals on Thursday, October 6 at the New Cebu Coliseum, located downtown this city.
With the USJ-R Jaguars enjoying a twice to beat advantage, the deciding match will be played tomorrow, Friday, October 7, 5 pm at the same venue.
Marlo Pono led the Wildcats with 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Having won only a single game in the elimination round against the defending champion University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, the Wildcats is not conceding the chance to advance to the semifinal round.
After letting the Jaguars go on an 8-0 run in the first quarter, the Wildcats slowly found themselves in the game which deadlocked 6 times with the last at 60-all on a basket by John Anthony Lucena at the 3:58 mark of the final quarter.
The Jaguars then took a 2-point lead courtesy of Jaybie Mantilla’s two charities but Pono went on a 5-0 run of his own including a trey thus allowing the Wildcats a 3-point lead, 62-65.
Nelvin Navarra brought the Jaguars closer at 64-66 with 42.4 seconds left but a basket from Primo Alicaway Jr. once again brought the Wildcats at arms length, 68-64, with 17 seconds left.
Mantilla then converted his charities on a foul by Alicaway to once again bring the Jaguars close at 66-68 but time eventually run out for last year’s third placers.
CIT-U Wildcats (68) - Pono 17, Sanchez 16, Alicaway 15, Ariar 10, Lucena 8, Munez 2.
USJ-R Jaguars (66) - Mantilla 21, Dinolan 17, Peromingan 8, Navarra 6, Nunez 5, Gastador 3, Catiloc 2, Jopia 2, Pastias 2. – Rappler.com