Cobras vs. Archers

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

THE Southwestern University Cobras made up for their mistakes last Tuesday and bagged the first slot of the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Final Four Round Robin after dealing with the Far Eastern University Tamaraws with an emphatic 86-71 win at the FilOil Arena in San Juan City yesterday.

SWU’s march to the finals was only the second time a Cebu School Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) squad or any other team outside of Manila made it to the Finals since the University of the Visayas Green Lancers lost to Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in the 2007 Finals.

The Cobras, the Southern Island champions, will play the UAAP champions De La Salle University Green Archers in the best of three finals series, starting Monday still at the FilOil Arena in San Juan City.

The Green Archers defeated NCAA champions San Beda College Red Lions in the other game, 64-60, to grab the second seat to the Finals.

Both the SWU and DLSU finished the final four round with 2-1 win-loss records.

“We are very proud to represent not only Cebu but the entire Visayas and Mindanao to the Finals. I told the boys that we will make history today (yesterday). I just told them to play our game execute our game plan and they (players) have executed it well,” SWU head coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba said in the interview after the game.

Held by just two points in their 75-49 loss to San Beda last Tuesday, SWU team captain Monbert Arong was all over the floor, leading SWU to victory and scoring the game high 23 points to be named the game’s best player.

Arong also had seven rebounds, four assists and two steals to go with his offensive exploits.

“Coach Yayoy told me to motivate myself. To try to find my game and when I got my momentum, I just carry on with it,” Arong said.

FEU, the Luzon-Metro Manila champions had a strong start with Carl Cruz scoring seven points and Anthony Hargrove Jr. contributing four to help the Tamaraw build a 15-6 lead 3:27 remaining in the first quarter.

That was the only time FEU had a smooth game as SWU started their move. Cesafi MVP Mark Jayven Tallo ignited an 8-1 run with a triple a 16-14 score at the close of the first period.

A triple each from Jabe Bautista and Melvin Holper started the fire before Arong caught fire for the Cobras by scoring 12 of the next 23 points as FEU struggled offensively.

After SWU tallied its biggest lead at 50-31 on Landry Sanjo’s basket at 6:07 of the third, FEU started to hit its outside shots and Gryann Mendoza hit back-to-back and Anton Inigo made one triple to keep the Cobras within range.

FEU managed to cut down the lead to eight-points 67-59 still with 5:57 left in the fourth quarter but Arong put things in order for SWU as he scored five straight points and the Cobras outscored the Archers 14-12 the rest of the way.

Tallo, who was held scoreless by San Beda last Tuesday, recovered to finish with 16 points, Sanjo added 19 points and Adams Mohammed contributed 15 for SWU. Mendoza topscored for FEU with 16, Cruz made 15, Chris Tolomia scored 14 and Hargrove added 14.

SWU (86) – Arong 23, Sanjo 19, Tallo 16, Mohammed 15, Holper 5, Goloran 4, Bautista 4. FEU (71) – Mendoza 16, Cruz 15, Tolomia 14, Hargrove 10, Inigo 7, Pogoy 4, Jose 4, Dennison 1. Quarterscores: 14-16; 43-27; 65-50; 86-71.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 13, 2013.


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