THE Southwestern University (SWU-Phinma) Cobras went out with guns blazing and carved out a statement win over the defending champions ARQ Builders/University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers, 91-73, in Game 1 of their best-of-three championship series in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Partners Cup 2019 on Friday night, Aug. 2, 2019, at the Cebu Coliseum.

The Cobras were quick to show their shooting prowess as they torched the Green Lancers in the opening period with a 32-12 blitz, thanks to guard Shaquille Imperial, who scored 11 of his 21 points in the opening period.

SWU-Phinma found its groove early, surprising the Green Lancers with a 16-7 start thanks to its fiery shooting from beyond the arc and mid-range jumpers.

The Green Lancers managed to trim the deficit to 14 points at halftime, but SWU-Phinma asserted their dominance again in the second half--hitting shots with ease.

Imperial drilled a three-pointer and import Lamine Thiam drilled a jumper as the Cobras put up a 20-point lead, 58-38, in the early goings of the third period.

SWU-Phinma registered the game’s biggest lead at 29 points, 69-40, after Imperial hit another three-pointer with 6:25 to play in the third quarter. After that shot, SWU-Phinma suddenly went cold and UV staged a 15-2 run to end the third period.

SWU-Phinma asserted its dominance in the fourth period, stretching the lead back to 20 points, 83-63, after a beautiful drive by Imperial. Thiam then put the icing on the cake with a one-handed dunk to the delight of the crowd.

William Polican was also impressive for SWU-Phinma with 19 points, Dyll Roncal handed 14 and Red Canchuela contributed 11.

Jancork Cabahug put up 13 points and was the lone player to finish in double figures for the Green Lancers.

The Cobras can wrap up the series when the two protagonists meet again on Sunday, Aug. 4.

In the high school division, the University of San Jose- Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars drew first blood in Game 1 of their best-of-three series against the Cebu Landmasters/Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles.

The Baby Jaguars held off the Magis Eagles down the stretch to pull off the 61-56 win.

SHS-AdC was in control in the first period with a 16-7 lead, before USJ-R found the groove in the second quarter to snatch the lead at halftime, 36-24.

The Magis Eagles tried to mount a fightback in the fourth quarter only to fall short in the series-opening game.

Santos Go top-scored for USJ-R with 17, Kevin Guibao added 14 and Kendrick Abarquez pitched in 13.

Ariel Dinglasan led the Magis Eagles with 14 and L.A Casinillo added 13.

The Game 2 in the high school division will start at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.