THE University of the Visayas (UV) lost a 19-point lead but regained its poise to stay undefeated in the 2010 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Collegiate Basketball tournament.

The nine-time champions showed their vast experience as they scored a thrilling 82-79 victory over bitter rivals University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters in last Sunday’s main game in the packed Cebu Coliseum.

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UV is now ahead with a 5-0 record, while UC, touted as the favorite to finally unseat UV this year, is second at 4-1.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile winless University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars finally scored their first victory, 77-68, against the struggling Don Bosco Technology College (DBTC) Greywolves in the earlier game.

In the main game, UC and UV exchanged leads four times in the first quarter before UV asserted its superiority in the next two quarters.

Ralf Olivares and Emmanuel Calo came off the bench to shine for UV as they combined for 33 points for a 38-26 lead at 1:22 of the second period.

Ejected

UV continued to play big after the halftime break to establish a 19-point lead, 58-39, with 3:04 left in the third period.

Robinson Mohamad came into the picture for UC and rallied the Webmasters to cut UV’s lead to 60-48 entering the final period.

Junemar Fajardo led another rally that allowed UC to cut the lead further to 69-57 in the fourth as they held UV without a basket for more than four minutes.

Calo compounded UV’s woes as he was ejected for committing his second unsportsmanlike foul and UC launched another 17-2 run to take the lead, 74-71, with only 1:51 left.

But just as everybody thought UV was about to give up, the Lancers adjusted their defensive stance and Olivares cashed in from the free throw line to steal the win.

Olivares scored a game-high 20 points, while Calo had 15. Fajardo scored 18 for UC, while Kirst Edward Pao had 17.