DEFENDING champions Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras capitalized on its quickness and rebounding edge to break away from a tight ballgame in the final five minutes of the game for an 81-68 win over the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters in the 2013 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) College basketball tournament held at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
This afternoon, the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors will try to score their second win as they play the rookie-laden University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers in the main game at 6:45 p.m.
The UC Baby Webmasters will play against the Baby Panthers in the 5 p.m. game.
Lacking the patience and unselfishness they had established for the first 35 minutes, UC quickly saw the game slipping out of reach as the Cobras killed them with fast breaks and unselfish plays in the final minutes of the fourth period.
With Landry Sanjo taking control in both offensive and defensive board and SWU backcourt rotation punishing the ball carrier of the Webmasters, the Cobras pulled away from a slim 53-49 with a quick 8-0 run that put them ahead 61-49 at the 4:14 mark.
Kim Gomez tried to regain UC’s composure as he sank back-to-back triples, but the Webmasters’ defense could no longer contain Mark Jayven Tallo, Sanjo and team captain Monbert Arong as they scored 20 more points, giving SWU its fourth victory in as many games. UC, on the other hand, is still winless after three starts.
UC, however, played a solid game for the first three and a half quarters as they put up a good defense to limit the production of the Cobras, Its three-point shooters hit their mark to keep up with explosive opponents.
But just as UC was about to get their momentum in the final quarter, SWU used its crippling full-court trapping defense that eventually broke the game wide open.
Sanjo again proved to be a monster inside the shaded lane as he scored the game-high 21 points on top of 12 rebounds, three steals and a block shot. Arong finished with 17 points and Tallo contributed 13 while Noel Villanueva topscored UC with 16 points and Gomez and Edward Espiritu contributed 12 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, Jesse Aloro Jr. had another breakout game as he scored 26 points on top of 13 rebounds, three steals and four blocks to lead the CIT-U Wildkittens to a masterful 84-53 win over the DBTC Greywolves in the high school match.
CIT-U improved to 3-3 while DBTC is still winless after five games.