THE University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors weathered the resilient University of the Philippines-Cebu Fighting Maroons to grab its first win, 62-58, in the Sinulog Cup 2024 qualifying round on Wednesday night, Jan. 17, 2024 at the Cebu City Sports Institute.
USC got off to a fast start and stayed there for the first three periods, leading 52-44 heading to the last canto. However, the Fighting Maroons found its second wind and launched a massive comeback to take a 58-54 lead in the fourth.
But the Warriors of coach Paul Joven did not blink and finished the game on an 8-0 run to nab the close victory.
Bryle Puntual had 19 points and seven rebounds for the Warriors, which evened the team’s record at 1-1.
Brandon Sainz scored 17 points for UP Cebu, while Pilipinas Super League Visayas MVP Matt Flores made his long-awaited debut, tallying six points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges (CRMC) Mustangs had a victorious debut in this competition as the team took down Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras, 84-80.
Down three at the start of the fourth, CRMC stepped its game up and uncorked a 12-1 run to move in front, 73-65, and stay there until the final buzzer.
Redjee Recimiento led the Mustangs with 15 points, while former Liceo de Cagayan Titans guard Earl Laniton debuted for CRMC with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Jonathan Vanguardia added 12 markers for the team of coach Paul Flores. / JNP