Venom unleashed-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
COACH Felix “Donbel” Belano Jr. earlier feared his University of the Visayas Green Lancers would become complacent along the way – and his fears happened right on the championship series opening game.
The Lancers paid dearly for taking the Southwestern University lightly as the Cobras secured Game 1 with a 77-72 victory to lead 1-0 in the 2012 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) College Basketball Finals Series at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
But coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba downplayed his team’s chances of winning the championship.
“You can’t determine championship victory by winning one game. Game 1 is nothing in a best-of-five series. UV will try to bounce back strong and that is what we are going to prepare for,” Alcoseba told reporters after the game.
UV had control in the opening quarter before the game slowly slipped through their hands in the middle of the second period.
The game was tied at 23-all at the 6:38 mark of the second, when Justin Aboude and Joseph Nalos anchored SWU’s 14-8 burst that gave the Cobras a 37-31 lead heading to the halftime break.
Alcoseba tried a quicker five at the start of the third, which proved to be a disadvantage as UV inched within 44-46 at the 4:03 mark. However, a technical foul slapped on Jerome Silva for pointing a finger at the referee at the 3:46 mark and an unsportsmanlike conduct given to Rene Saycon 40 seconds later doused cold water on the Lancers’ building momentum, for SWU to hang on to lead, 55-50, entering the final quarter.
Taking a cue from a momentous third, SWU then went all out in the final quarter as Bonifacio Guillena sank two and Nalos nailed a triple, while UV struggled on its shots, including a 2-of-7 free throw shooting. The Cobras built a 15-point lead, 72-57, with 5:29 left to play.
The Lancers were able to inch within 68-74 but it was not enough as Aboude secured the win for SWU with a thunderous slam dunk after splitting his free throws.
Guillena topscored with 19 points, while Bregondo and Aboude finished with 13 and 12, respectively.
UV’s Hernal “Wowie” Escocio made history after he was named the first Rookie-MVP of Cesafi during the awarding ceremony made before the game.
Joining Escocio in the Mythical 5 Selection are Quinton Brian Heruela of the University of Cebu Webmasters, UV team captain Jerome Silva, University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars’ Abulaiz Suliman and Monbert Arong of SWU.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 26, 2012.