THE University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors survived the strong challenge of the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats before pulling a 73-68 win for its first win in the 2013 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) collegiate basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
Earlier, high school defending champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles kept its record clean after beating the hard-fighting USC Baby Warriors, 64-59.
The Eagles banked on their 12-point lead at the end of the first quarter to survive a 19-2 USC blitz in the second, that saw them trailing 30-25 at the end of the first half.
SHS-AdC fought hard in the third period and regained the lead midway in the fourth quarter behind the efforts of Arni Padilla, Jair Igna and Jan-Jan Jaboneta.
Jaboneta scored the game high 16 points and Igna added 15 while Kervin Villagracia topped USC scorers with 10 points.
The (University of the Visayas) UV Baby Lancers meanwhile regained their footings as they rallied behind the 25 points of Kent Manzo to score a 75-65 win over the University of Southern Philippines (USPF) Baby Panthers.
Jesse Aloro had another scoring burst as he finished with 30 points to end the three- game losing slide of the CIT-U Wildkittens after beating the UC Baby Webmasters.
In the college game, CIT-U proved to be a tough team even against a team with imports as they traded baskets with the Warriors from start to finish before losing steam in the final minute and dropped its third straight loss.
Again, coach Gilbert Demape turned to team skipper Floyd Taboada who did most of the damage. guard Franklyn Batiquin, and forward John Graf also helped in the offensive end for the Wildcats as the taller defense of the Warriors kept rookie sensation Joshua de la Cerna struggling.
However, after Graf nailed a booming trey that evened the game at 64 with 2:37 left to play, Stephen Que sparked the end-game blitz of the Warriors with a conventional three-point play. Ahmed Salihou scored back-to-back baskets and Miguel Plata sealed the game with two free throws. CIT-U only managed to score four free throw points courtesy of Batiquin.
Salihou topscored for USC with 15 points, Que scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and Ian ortega contributed 10 points. Taboada scored the game-high 25 points, Batiquin added 13 and de la Cerna managed to score 12 points.