Cobras stun Archers

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Monday, December 9, 2013

MELVIN HOLPER picked the right time to shine and the 6’4” swingman sank three triples to help Southern Islands Champions Southwestern University Cobras stun UAAP champions De La Salle University Green Archers, 68-58, in overtime at the start of the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Final Four Round Robin at the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles Gym yesterday.

Today, the Cobras will face NCAA champions San Beda College Red Lions at 2 p.m. game at the FilOil San Juan Arena. The game will be aired live over at Studio 23. The final four is not a knockout round but features a single round robin with the top two advancing to the finals.

The Red Lions are raring to get back as they dropped their first game to the Luzon-Metro Manila champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 62-56, in the main game.

“I told the guys, don’t ever think that when you step on that court, we don’t have a chance to win. If we just play our game, we have a chance,” said SWU coach Yayoy Alcoseba .”It’s an honor to win against the UAAP champion.”

Holper, who did even play a single minute in the two Southern Island Championship games and was seldom used during the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. regular season, was coach Yayoy’s Alcoseba’s prized substitution. His presence helped offset the size advantage of the UAAP champions, who were in control of the game in the entire first half.

SWU struggled in the opening quarter, scoring only nine points and allowing DLSU to lead by as many as 10 points, 19-9 early in the second quarter.

But as the Cobras shifted their defensive alignment, things started to work wonders for SWU and with team captain Monbert Arong stepping up in offense, the Southern Island champs were able to cut the lead to 26-23, before the first half closed at 30-23, for DLSU

Arong scored the first six points of the Cobras in the third quarter as SWU’s defense limited the UAAP champs to just seven points while moving four points behind at the close of the third period.

Despite SWU’s aggressiveness, DLSU managed to keep their heads afloat before Holper sank his first triple to give the Cobras their first taste of the lead at the 6:58 mark.

Jeron Teng and Thomas Torres managed gave Archers back the lead but Adams Mohammed and Landry Sanjo quickly regained the lead for the Cobras at 50-47.

But after Sanjo scored two more free throws at the 1:24 mark, SWU failed to score another basket while DLSU had the chance to change the complexity of the game but Teng’s split free throws managed only to tie the game at 52-all in regulation period.

In overtime, Holper dropped back-to-back triples and Arong added another as the Green Archers failed to score another point after Torres sank two free throws at the 2:46 mark.

Cesafi 2013 MVP Mark Jayven Tallo, who played for the Green Archers before joining the Cobras this season was named the best player of the game for scoring 13 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists. (With a report from Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 10, 2013.


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