CEBU CITY, Philippines - Melvin Butohan spoiled the return of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers in the basketball competition of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) as he towed the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters to a commanding 91-69 win at the Cebu Coliseum in downtown Cebu City on Tuesday, August 4.
Butohan, who was not allowed to play in UC's first game of the season last August 2 for missing a practice, scored 23 points as he sank 5 of his 7 trey attempts, mostly in the third quarter wherein the Webmasters posted a lead of 26 points, 70-42, over the Panthers.
Clint Suelto, however, was named best player of the game with 10 points, 6 of 6 free throws and 5 assists.
Butohan's performance showed what a difference his presence would make as the Webmasters clinched its first win of the 2015 season after squandering its first game against the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, 68-85.
Eager to clinch their first win, the Webmasters waxed hot as soon as the buzzer sounded to signal the start of the ballgame and immediately posted a 10-point lead, 12-2.
Butohan made life very difficult for the Panthers as he lost no time in bagging 4 points as soon as he was fielded halfway in the first quarter.
Only Brantford Borces was having some measure of success on the other side as he owned 3 of the Panthers' only 5 baskets going into the second quarter.
The Webmasters solidified its dominance over the Panthers as they increased their advantage to 15 points going into the halftime break, 74-29.
The misery continued for the Panthers in the third canto as Butohan exploded with 4 treys with the fourth one allowing the Webmasters to lead as much as 26 points just seconds before the fourth quarter.
Butohan opened the fourth quarter with another triple and with teammate Joseph Daniel Mayol converting one of his charities, UC posted its highest lead of the ballgame at 29 points, 74-45.
The game was then momentarily halted as UC's Suelto hit the floor writhing in pain and favoring his left ankle. He was eventually carried off the court but the injury must have been not that serious as he later returned to continue playing until the end of the ballgame.
A triple from Clyde Drexler Avancena and 3 straight baskets from Lyndon Colina allowed the Panthers to cut the Webmasters lead down to 22 points.
The Panthers continued to hack on the Webmasters' lead with Mhike Patalinghug also sinking his shot from the rainbow bringing USPF to within 18 points of UC, 64-82.
Free baskets allowed the Webmasters to build up their lead again until the game eventually ended with them having a 22-point advantage over the Panthers, 91-69.
Baby Panthers fall to Magis Eagles
The Baby Panthers fared no better than their senior team, as they also failed to win their first game after bowing to the defending champion, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles, 55-68.
Eroll Pastor was aptly named as the best player of the ballgame as he scored six of his 14 points total in the first quarter alone.
Pastor, however, had trouble sinking his free throws but this hardly mattered with his teammates having a better time in scoring than the Baby Panthers.
Although the Baby Panthers was able to match their fast running pace, they had trouble in accurately sinking their baskets.
Harvelle Peligrino and Ain Carlo Obenza, who both scored 17 points each, allowed the Panthers to stay close with the champion team, still, the game ended with them incurring a 13-point deficit.
Games on August 6 (Thursday) at Cebu Coliseum
5:15 PM – USP-F vs CEC (JR)
6:45 PM – USJ-R vs UV (SR)
The USPF Baby Panthers will have a chance to bounce back as they face Cebu Eastern College Dragons on August 6 at the same venue.
In the collegiate match, the USJ-R Jaguars and the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers will contest each other as to who will be the first team to post two wins with no losses as both teams have pocketed victories in their first matches.
SHS-AdC (68) - Pastor 14, Mantua 11, Colonia 11, Velasco 6, J. Yu 6, Visser 5, Bersaluna 4, Javelosa 3, Calumpang 3, Manaytay 2, P. Yu 1, Chen 0, Chua 0.
USPF (55) - Peligrino 17, Obenza 17, Archival 8, Macalam 7, Hernando 3, Fermin 3, Cometa 0, Ybañez 0, Sandoval 0, Lequin 0, Urot 0, Justol 0, Tajo 0, Soon 0.
Quarter Scores: 22-15; 39-27; 51-40; 68-55.
UC (91) - Butohan 23, Dacalos 12, Puerto 11, Suelto 10, Culango 10, Montilla 6, Grafilo 4, Tagudin 3, Mayol 3, Santander 3, Codilla 3, Jabello 2, Dumat-ol 1, Luzares 0.
USPF (69) - Borces 15, Patalinghug 14, Villamor 11, Colina 9, Bajamunde 4, Ceniza 3, Laver 3, Avanceña 3, Alocillo 2, Quiachon 2, Bolivar 2, Langahin 1, Sastrillas 0, Silorio 0.
Quarter Scores: 25-11; 74-29; 70-45; 91-69