THE University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars and the Southwestern University-Phinma (SWU) Cobras opened their respective stints in the qualifying round of the Sinulog Cup 2024 Basketball Tournament with resounding victories on Tuesday evening, Jan. 16, 2024 at the Cebu City Sports Institute in Barangay San Nicolas.
USJ-R downed the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 84-66, while SWU bested the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers, 66-57.
The Jaguars flexed their might in the third period of their match against the Warriors as they uncorked a blistering 29-8 run to establish a 71-37 lead heading to the fourth period. That lead would reach a high of 37 at 74-37 as USJ-R cruised to the easy win.
Five players scored in double-figures for the Jaguars led by the 17 points of Jay Deiparine, who sank four triples. Carl Cabulao added 16 points and six rebounds, Sam Melicor and KC Gordillo had 12 markers apiece, even as Elmer Echavez punched in 10 points and eight rebounds.
In the other game, the Cobras led by as much as 22 but had to fend off a feisty comeback try by the Panthers to get the win. The Cobras of coach Mike Reyes held a 45-23 lead early in the third, but the Panthers whittled it down to eight in the fourth. SWU-Phinma then pulled off several crucial stops down the stretch to come away victorious.
Kyle Maglinte and JM Abello had 14 points each to lead the Cobras.