Philippines splits in basketball as Asia Pacific University Games open in Cebu

 SPORTSMANSHIP. The UC Webmasters and their opponents from Japan pose for a picture pre-game. Photo by PJ Estan/Rappler

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Philippines split its basketball games as the inaugural Asia Pacific University Games kicked off on Friday, December 4, at the University of San Carlos (USC) gym in dowtown Cebu City.

The Philippines, which is hosting this international event showcasing 3 sporting competitions - basketball, table tennis and badminton - will go up against teams from Japan represented by students of the Nippon Sports Science University (NSSU) and Malaysia represented by teams from Universiti of Technologi – Mara (UTM). Papua New Guinea was supposed to take part in the event but did not push through with its participation.

In basketball, the Philippines is fielding the 2015 CESAFI champions USC Warriors, the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters and the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF).

Seeing action in table tennis are teams from UC, Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CITU) and Malaysia while competing in badminton are UC, USC and Malaysia.

Basketball games will be played at the USPF gym on December 5, USC gym on December 6 and at the Cebu Coliseum on December 7.

Table tennis matches which will begin December 5 and end on December 7 will be played at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall while the badminton games which will be from December 6 to 7 will be held at the Metrosports Badminton Courts in Salinas Drive, Lahug.

USC beats Malaysia, UC loses to Japan

The Philippines split its games yesterday in basketball which followed the opening ceremonies at the USC gym with USC Warriors clobbering Malaysia-UTM, 79-57, preventing the host country from being blanked on the first day of competition following UC Webmasters' 83-90 defeat to NSSU Lions of Japan.

Charles Pepito led the USC Warriors charge with 15 points, scoring 10 points in the first quarter alone while Caesar Ian Ortega and Nicolas Kyle Magat chipped in 12 points each.

Malaysia, on the otherhand, was led by Muhammad Syahmi Now Mokles and Mohd Muhafizie Baharudin with 12 points apiece while Patrick Heintzmann contributed 9 points.

Despite facing taller opponents, the USC Warriors opened the ballgame with an 8-0 run before Mokles pulled up a trey to score Malaysia's first points.

A blistering 10 points from Pepito had the USC Warriors closing the first canto with a 9-point advantage at 19-10.

Malaysia managed to cut 3 points off USC's lead in the early minutes of the second quarter but 4-straight points from Ortega and a triple from Magat had them looking at a 13-point deficit with about seven minutes still left before halftime.

Malaysia then orchestrated its own 7-0 run to come close at 20-26 but it couldn't stop the USC Warriors from ending the first half with a 13-point advantage, 37-24.

The USC Warriors twice brought their lead to as much as 20 points in the third canto with a surprising six points from Dolan Adlawan.

The CESAFI champion eventually wrapped up the ballgame with a 22-point advantage following back-to-back treys from Kevin Oleodo.

In the first game, Japan's NSSU Lions rained 12 rainbow shots to shut off the Webmasters challenge.

Ebata Kosuke topscored for the NSSU Lions with 17 points with Odagiri Tadashi chipping in 13 and Oshiro Yusaku 10.

John Cal Jabello had a game high 21 points for the UC Webmasters, with Garciano Puerto contributing 18 and Geleant Delator finishing with 12 points.

Although the NSSU Lions took the upperhand on all quarters, the UC Webmasters came as close as 3 points behind, 68-65, on a basket by Puerto who rebounded a missed gift shot by Jabello with 7:42 remaining in the fourth canto.

Despite being down by as much as 14 points, the UC Webmasters was able to rally and end the ballgame with just a 7-point deficit, 83-90.

Games December 5 at the USPF gym:

8:00 am – USC vs UC

9:30 am – USPF vs Japan

2:00 pm – Malaysia vs UC

3:30pm – USPF vs USC  – Rappler.com