Cobras hissed-A A +A
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
THE defending champions Southwestern University Cobras drew first blood with a 64-52 win over the University of the Visayas Green Lancers in Game 1 of the best-of-5 championship series in the 2013 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) College Basketball Finals held at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
Although the Cobras’ star players struggled, UV was erratic and succumbed to its fourth straight loss to SWU this season.
In addition, the Lancers shot an alarming 12 of 26 from the free throw line, giving SWU a good reason to foul UV’s post players on their way to the basket.
Cameroonian center Mike Harry Nzeusseu, who finished with 12 points for UV, was 4-of-10, while reigning Rookie/MVP Hernal “Wowie” Escosio who finished with eight points was 4-of-11.
With UV’s leading scorer John Abad struggling on his shots against a taller defense, coach Donbel Belano was forced to find a replacement who could lead the cause of the Lancers.
Mico Marquez came to answer the challenge, but his heroics came a bit late as SWU already built confidence and a good margin to keep the nine-time champions at bay.
After a brief exchange of baskets in the early goings, SWU started to take control of the game following a 6-0 start in the second quarter.
SWU slowly built a fortress from there on and at the 5:25 mark of the third period, the Cobras logged its first taste of a double-digit lead at 36-26.
They did this with its scoring machine Monbert Arong and the flashy Mark Jayven Tallo, scoring sparingly for the defending champions.
Barely four minutes later, SWU erected a 13-point lead, 45-32, before Marquez capped a 7-4 UV run with a buzzer-beating triple that ended the penultimate period with the Cobras holding a 49-39 lead.
A quick 4-0 run at the start of the final period gave the Lancers a spark of momentum that kept SWU on their toes.
After Venhur Villamor inched UV within 46-52 with a triple at the 5:44 mark, their hope of completing the comeback slowly wilted away as their free throws denied them the chance to inch closer.
A minute after Villamor sank a trey, SWU entered the penalty situation, but unfortunately, UV failed to take advantage of their free throws as they went 3 of 10 for the next three minutes despite having SWU’s Daryl Goloran and Cameroonian Landry Sanjo fouling out of the game.
At the other end, SWU scored 10 points—that includes a conventional three-point play by Arong, that fished out Abad’s fifth and final foul and capped by Tallo’s triple for the biggest lead of the game, 64-49, with 9.3 seconds left to play before Marquez scored his second triple in the final 1.1 second.
Goloran topscored for SWU with 13 points and added eight rebounds before fouling out at the final 3:34 mark.
Sanjo finished with 10 points on top of 14 rebounds and four blocks, while Marquez was the other player to score in double digits for UV with 10.
Meanwhile, the University of San Carlos Warriors won Game 1 of the best-of-three series for third place, 82-72, over the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 25, 2013.