Jojo Tangkay of the Cebu Landmasters/Bogo shoots during their game against the Marinerong Pilipino last night at the Cebu Coliseum. Tristan Laput, USJ-R Masscomm intern

UC wins but not enough
Rico Navarro (The Freeman) - January 13, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Good news and bad news: so near, yet so far. The University of Cebu/M. Lhuillier trounced University of San Jose-Recoletos/May Abohan by 14 points, 71-57, last night in the Cebu City Sinulog Cup 2018 – Basketball Invitational last night at the Cebu Coliseum, but was it enough to make it to the championship? Unfortunately no.

They would’ve made it the finals if they won by 16 points, and if Marinerong Pilipino lost to Cebu Landmasters/Bogo in last night’s main game which was still being played as of this writing.

The Webmasters was headed for a comfortable win, controlling the game from the start after enjoying leads of 23-12 and 33-23 after the first two quarters. But USJR/May Abohan rallied in the third quarter and overtook the Webmasters, 45-43. John Jabello and Frederick Elombi quickly replied with a 7-0 run to close out the period at 50-45.

UC/M. Lhuillier kicked off the fourth quarter with a with a 5-0 run for a 55-45 lead, a gap they would protect all the way to the end of the game. Aware of the winning margin that they had to achieve, the Webmasters tried to stretch the lead as much as they could. Joren Tagudin scored two triples while Elombi was fouled while attempting a trey.

However, three missed charities doused their chances to hit the magic number of 16.

Elombi led UC anew with another remarkable all-around game of 18 points, 18 rebounds, and five assists. Ruben Ludovice had 15 points and ten rebounds. Joren Tagudin added 13 points, going four-for-four from three-point territory.

Miguel Gastador and Fletcher Galvez led USJR/May Abohan with 17 and 13 points, respectively. Both UC/M. Lhuillier and USJR/May Abohan are now tied with 2-2 win-loss records, and are awaiting the result of the game between Cebu Landmasters/Bogo (3-0) and Marinerong Pilipino (2-1) which was being played last night.

A loss by Marinerong Pilipino will create a three-way tie for second place at 2-2 among the Skippers, UC/M.Lhuillier and USJR/May Abohan. The FIBA tiebreaker is used to break the tie.

In the late game Thursday night, Marinerong Pilipino overcame a stubborn University of Cebu/M. Lhuillier, 79-71, to improve to 2-1. Playing from behind throughout the game, UC/M. Lhuillier took the lead at 62-61 with 4:03 left in the game.

Gab Banal then scored all of eight points to restore the lead at 69-64. And when the Webmasters cut the lead to two, 69-67, Joseph Terso calmly sank a clutch triple in reply. Terso added another triple for good measure that made it 75-69, 39 seconds left.

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