CEBU CITY -- It was a come from behind win by the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars to secure a spot in the semifinals after defeating the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats, 81-76, Thursday night in USJ-R’s home court.
The Jaguars pulled off, against all odds, an impressive run in the 4th Quarter with veteran player Miguel Tabaloc and Christian Parker and team captain James Regalado leading the squad to cut their 20-point deficit in the 4th period against CIT-U.
USJ-R’s victory also saved them the hassle of playing another game on Saturday against the Wildcats, since they have a twice-to-beat advantage.
CIT-U started their impressive run in the 1st quarter with guard Floyd Taboada penetrating the shaded area and Joshua Dela Cerna unstoppable in the low post with 10 points in the quarter. The Wildcats lead by eight points at the end of the first canto, 20-12.
The Jaguars worked their way to cut the Wildcat’s lead to six points, 30-36, in the 2nd quarter courtesy of rookie Rendell Senining who put up eight points in the period.
But the Wildcats further extended the lead to 14 points in the 3nd period, 43-57, due to the Jaguars’ poor defense and turnovers.
Things got more interesting in the 4th period when the Wildcat’s lead went by as much as 19 points, 65-46, with seven minutes left to play.
The Jaguars brought back their intensity and momentum and began their full court presses and steals with C. Parker starting to break the Wildcats defense. Rookie Fletcher Galvez also donated seven points in the 4th period to slowly cut the CIT-U lead.
USJ-R gained the lead in the last two minutes, 74-70. The Wildcats put up a good fight but the home court advantage began to make its toll as the Jaguars gained confidence both in offense and defense.
Miguel Tabaloc contributed 14 points in the fourth period, C. Parker with eight points, Galvez with seven points, and Regalado with eight.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Eastern College Dragons advanced to the Semifinals after routing University of Southern Philippines Foundation Baby Panthers, 83-66, in the first game in the High School Division. The Baby Panthers succumbed to the trapping defense of the Dragons as well as their well executed plays. (BJ Andrade/Sunnex)