Greatest win ever?-A A +A
Saturday, October 6, 2012
FOR the fans that lined up as early as 2:30 p.m., the final game of the season was a fitting finale for Cebu’s lone collegiate tournament.
And for the packed crowd of close to 10,000 who had to deal with 40 minutes of thrilling action, it was all worth it as they witnessed the crowning of the Southwestern University Cobras in one of the greatest games in the Cebu collegiate scene.
The Cobras scored a 73-72 come-from-behind win over the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers in the deciding Game 5 to take the 2012 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) title, a dramatic victory since the Cobras trailed by as much as 18 points.
And all thanks to an unlikely hero, John Pajantoy, the diminutive guard who was never a factor since the start of the season. When the SWU stars wilted, Pajantoy prevented SWU from breaking apart when the Cobras were trailing, 63-45.
“John Pajantoy was our ‘Sto. Nino.’ He played wholeheartedly. He just came in to give us this win. But I give this victory to the players. They never quit,” an ecstatic SWU coach Raul Alcoseba told Sun.Star Cebu after the game.
Pajantoy gave SWU something to fight for as he orchestrated a 10-0 run that kept SWU within 63-55.
UV managed to keep the lead but Pajantoy and Benoit Mbala, who was fit as a fiddle coming into the game, slowly broke the spirits of the Lancers and in the final 49.8 seconds, the team that has won nine straight titles totally collapsed and SWU went to march for its first championship since re-joining Cesafi in 2006.
“This is very sweet. Knowing our history of rivalry and knowing it is UV who we defeated in the championship,” SWU athletic director Ryan Aznar told Sun.Star Cebu.
UV was in total control of the game and showed it had better experience but it was SWU who had the heart and determination to win the championship.
After Mbala tied the game at 72, UV committed two turnovers and conceded a steal to Arong that forced Emmanuel Calo to give up a foul.
Arong split the charities to give SWU a 73-72 lead with 8.7 seconds left as UV struggled to take the ball to their court.
Mbala broke a play that could have given UV the victory, leaving the Lancers with only seven-tenths of a second left to play.
Calo did sink a prayer from the three-point area but the shot was made when the final buzzer, that was deafened by the roaring SWU supporters, sounded.
Mbala scored the game high 25 points and Arong added 10 for SWU, while Steve Cedrick Akomo and Calo topscored for UV with 13 points each. John Abad added 12.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2012.