Masterful victory

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014


THE University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) used its huge height advantage against the Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats for a 73-59 first win in the 2014 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundaiton Inc. (Cesafi) Basketball Tournament held at the Cebu Coliseum Tuesday evening.

Later at 6:45 p.m., last year’s finalists University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers and league leaders Southwestern University Cobras will take on each other after the juniors division match between the UV Baby Lancers and the Don Bosco Technological Center Greywolves at 5:15 p.m.

The Cobras will be shooting to stay unbeaten in four games, while the Lancers, who are struggling, hope to improve their 1-2 win-loss record.

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However, the Lancers are expecting to put up a gallant stand and will try to continue its winning run in Cesafi over the Cobras, which dated back in Game 3 of last year’s best-of-five championship series.

SWU went unbeaten from the elimination round up to Game 2 of the finals series last year, only to be frustated when one victory mattered most.

But with the off-season’s wheeling and dealings, on how SWU put up a very tough team and how UV lost important players from last year’s championship squad, would make tonight’s game more interesting.

Last Tuesday evening, USJ-R one of the heavily favored squads, finally showed its potential masterfully using its height advantage to keep the Wildcats at bay.

The Jaguars simply put a tall defense on CIT-U’s leading scorer Joshua Dela Cerna who struggled all night long as he was forced to adjust his shots against the defense of the 6’11” Quentin Nzuzi, USJ-R’s reinforcement from the Republic of Congo.

Nzuzi forced Dela Cerna to an anemic 3-of-22 field goal shooting, and finished with a career low 13 points. His first basket was a fastbreak lay-up at the 3:23 mark of the third period.

Offensively, USJ-R was relentless as the combined efforts of team skipper James Regalado, Mark Louie Labares, Iron Suano and Kevin Villafranca were enough to dominate the entire game.

Labares, Suano and Villafranca scored 11 points each and Regalado added 10 points for USJ-R’s first win in three games while Allan Dimco scored the game high 19 points, Dela Cerna finished with 13 points and Steven Bucao contributed with 10 points as CIT-U dropped 2-2.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 14, 2014.

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