USJ-R Jaguars pulls off stunner over UV to send Cesafi Season 22 semifinals to winner-take-all match

The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars pulled off an incredible 80-78 win over the top-seeded University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers on Thursday evening to send their Final Four showdown to a rubbermatch in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) Season 22 collegiate basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.

USJ-R was down by as much as 11, 55-66, in the fourth period but pulled to within one, 75-76, after a layup by veteran forward Elmer Echavez with two minutes remaining in the game. UV, though, kept USJ-R at bay, 78-75, as Ivo Salarda made a transition layup.

Echavez refused to back down and canned a long three-pointer to tie the game up at 78-all with 46 seconds remaining before UV guard Albert Sacayan turned the ball over. Jay Deiparene then made the Jaguars’ last offensive possession count, scoring on a difficult floater to push USJ-R in front, 80-78, with 10.6 seconds remaining.

UV had a shot at tying the match but Zylle Cabellon flubbed his layup before the final buzzer sounded to give USJ-R the thrilling victory.

Echavez led USJ-R with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a steal, while Deiparine added 16 markers. Carl Cabulao had 11 points.

Ted Saga led UV with 15 points, while Froiland Maglasang pitched in 12. (JNP)