CEBU CITY: Cameroonian import Quentin Nzuzi sizzled in the overtime period scoring his first 20-point game in the tournament as the Southwestern University (SWU)-PHINMA Cobras defeated the stubborn University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) Jaguars, 85-75 in an exciting collegiate match of the ongoing 16th season of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) Tuesday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Cobras who trailed most of the way, found a gem anew none other than their brightest star in Mark Jayven Tallo whose three-point dagger late in overtime, helped settled the issue as they chalked up their consecutive eighth victory.
Nzuzi’s basket gave the Cobras a 74-73 edge with 3:36 to go in overtime and scored another basket on Tallo’s assist, 76-73 and after Victor Nunez made it 75-76 for the Jaguars, the latter did not score again and the Cobras scored the decisive 9-0 run for the 85-75 outcome.
Jovanie Luz who finished with 21 points for the Cobras, was named the best player of the ballgame while Tallo had 22 points.
An upset was brewing up for the import-less Jaguars as Nunez hit a huge triple that gave them a 71-69 lead but the Cobras tied it quickly on a basket by Shaquille Imperial’s two charities, 71-all still 32.5 left in regulation.
The Jaguars had another chance to win the game after Tallo lost handle while attempting for a jump shot near the baseline but their was only two-tenths of a second by Jaybee Mantilla to throw a hail Mary shot, thus an overtime.
The Jaguars scored the first basket in overtime courtesy of Ricky Dyn Peromingan but the Cobras bounced back so quickly to dictate the tempo of the game the rest of the way.
Ralph Dinolan, the ace scorer for the Jaguars, finished with 15 points while John Pastias and Peromingan had 13 points each and got another double figures from Nelvin Navarra who chipped in with 12 points but the missing links were the below par performance of Juan Miguel Gastador and Mantilla, the heady guard Mantilla who just combined for 10 points.
Coming form an 8-0 start, the Cobras suddenly allowed the Jaguars to tie it at 17 apiece and even managed to close the first period with a 20-19 lead.
The Jaguars continue to hang on until halftime where they took a slim lead, 31-30.
The Jaguars who are now toting a 4-3 win-loss record, took their largest lead in the third period with eight points, 58-50 still over a minute before the end of the period which was later cut to 58-52. On the other hand, the Cobras’ biggest led was 10 which is also the winning margin.
The Jaguars actually had the chance to put the game away avoiding a five-minutes extension but Dinolan missed a lay-up that could have given them a four-point advantage down the homestretch.
In the secondary division, Don Bosco Greywolves got back into the winning track after they demolished the winless Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildkittens, 77-40. Don Bsco now has 5-2 win-loss record while the Wildkittens drooped to 0-7.