THE University of Cebu Webmasters showed sheer determination to beat the University of San Carlos Warriors, 69-59, in the final elimination round game of the 2017 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum yesterday.
Today, Cesafi will hold the annual All-Star Games starting with the high school game at 1 p.m., and will be followed by the skills game. The 3-point shooting and the slam dunk competition and the College All-Star Game will be played at 3 p.m.
Although UC and USC finished the elimination round with identical 7-5 win-loss cards, and were 1-1 on their meeting, the Webmasters took the No. 3 spot because of its higher winning margin. USC defeated UC, 67-62, last Aug. 20.
The Webmasters will play against University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars and the Warriors, who dropped to No. 4, will play the defending champions University of the Visayas Green Lancers in the semifinal round that will start on Tuesday.
Both the Green Lancers and the Jaguars enjoy a twice-to-beat incentive against the Warriors and the Webmasters, respectively.
UC controlled the game from start to finish but not without a serious challenge, especially in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Webmasters were enjoying a 22-point lead, 63-41 with 4:52 in the fourth, when USC clawed back hard with Kent Cabañog and Froilan Mangubat scoring six and eight points, respectively, of a 16-0 run that put the Warriors within 57-63 at the final 1:06 mark.
USC needed only to taper the final score to at least four points to deny UC the right to face an all-Filipino Jaguars.
However, UC regained its composure and displayed determination.
The Webmasters went 6-of-8 from the free throw line, while its defense held off the final efforts of the Warriors to win the game via a comfortable margin.
USC’s downfall was characterized by its impatience in the first three quarters, when they allowed the Webmasters to control the game. While UC shot 26-of-61 from the field, USC was at 22-of-64. The Webmasters also outscored the Warriors 23-7 in fast break points, 10-6 in second chance baskets and 17-7 in points coming from turnovers.
Again, Cameroonian center Frederick Elombi dropped another monster performance of 27 points and 14 rebounds, Justine Dacalos made 11 points and Garciano Puerto finished with 10 markers for UC. Cabañog was the lone Warrior to score in double digits with 20 points. (RCM)