CHRISTIAN Parker came in late, but University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars coach Edito Salacot did not hesistate and immediately sent the veteran slasher as soon as he changed into his uniform.

Parker, who had to attend an important school activity, quickly made an impact in his little time spent inside the court and scored four crucial points to help the Jaguars survive the rally of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers for a 68-58 win in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. college game at the University of San Carlos.

“I didn’t have any reservations. His absence (in early part of the game) was valid because he had a school-related activity. When USPF had a rally, I really needed a slasher and a tough defender. And that’s what Christian Parker can provide. So when he suited up, I quickly sent him to play,” Salacot told Sun.Star Cebu.

In the high school match, the University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters scored their second win after beating the USJ-R Baby Jaguars, 77-51.

Justine Dacalos again led UC scorers as he finished with 21 points, while Bryan Divinagracia was the lone USJ-R scorer to finish in double digits with 19 points.

Ramil Tumulak added 12 points, Mark Kevin Tan finished with 11 points and Niño Dave Paon had 10 points as UC improved to 2-5 and USJ-R dropped to 1-6.

In the other high school game, the USC Baby Warriors were relentess on defense as they held the struggling DBTC Greywolves to just two points in the fourth quarter—and a total of 11 in the entire second half—for an emphatic 76-37 win.

Paul Galinato was the lone double figure finisher for the Baby Warriors with 11 as USC improved to 5-2. Vinchenzo Ortega scored 11 and Steven del Campo added 10 for the Greywolves, who lost their seventh straight game.

In the college game, USJ-R had a fluid start and punished the Panthers with their inside and outside presence and the Jaguars got a hot start from top rookie player Rendell Senining.

With Senining getting into the scoring groove early, inside players Miguel Tabaloc, Edmundo Bayhonan and Kyle Lajato found their lanes open as they helped USJ-R build a double-digit lead in the later part of the second period.

Comeback

But after registering their biggest lead at 36-22 at the start of the third quarter, the Jaguars suddenly found themselves in trouble and USPF rallied behind the efforts of John Paul Batac, who led a crippling 15-1 run that tied the game for the second time at 37.

USJ-R was able to break the deadlock behind the efforts of Fletcher Galvez, Matthew Parker and Lajato and they re-established a double-digit lead, 53-43 at the 8:38 mark of the fourth.

However, the lead did not stay for long as Batac again rallied the Panthers to get within two, 54-52.

USPF had the chance to steal the game but they missed four of six free throw attempts that could have given them the lead.

Their dilemma extended and then Parker came in to seal the win.

First, he had a reverse layup that gave USJ-R a 59-53 lead then he dropped a point-blank jumper that got the Jaguars ahead, 63-58, in the final 50.1 seconds.

Since a triple by Michael Smith at the 5:54 mark of the fourth quarter, USPF had only one field goal the rest of the way. They got their points from the free throw line but it was not enough as they only made 5 of 12 in the final period.

Lajato led the Jaguars scorers with 12 points, helping USJ-R improve to 3-2, while Jomari Sollano led USPF with 15.