SPITFIRE John Abad sank the game-winning triple with 81 seconds left to play in the game to help the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers survive the toughest challenge that the University of San Carlos Warriors could offer for a scary 64-61 win in the second phase of the semifinal round of the 2013 Cebu Schools Athletic
Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) College Basketball Tournament last night.
Today, the CEC Dragons will try to rebound from a frustrating 79-59 loss to UV as they play USC in the opening game at 5 p.m. Defending champions SHS-AdC will try to gather momentum following its 51-45 win over the Baby Warriors, when they meet the Baby
Lancers in the main game at 6:45 p.m.
Abad’s basket came when the Haier-backed UV needed a basket more than anything else.
Both teams exchanged turnovers before the leather settled in the hands of Abad, whose shot swished nicely through the net.
Abad’s basket broke the 61-all deadlock after USC’s Nico Magat scored his 10th point of the game.
Both teams missed their succeeding shot, trading turnovers including the one that
could have sent the game into overtime.
As coach Julian Macoy sent all his shooters hoping for an equalizer that could give them five more minutes, the ball slipped from the hands of Magat who was attempting a trey–dousing all hope of the Warriors for some lease on life.
Abad dribbled the time away as UV is just a win away from setting another Finals showdown with its bitter rivals Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras, who earlier scored a 69-49 win over the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars for its fourth straight semifinal win, to keep its record clean after 10 games this season.
USC was not the same team UV used to pound on in their past two meetings.
The Warriors proved to be a tough team as they gave UV a hard time all throughout the game, with Victor Rabat and Ahmed Salihou keeping USC within the distance.
UV’s scare came at the 5:47 mark of the fourth when USC made a 7-0 run, capped by Rabat’s triple, that gave them back the lead, 59-58.
Mike Harry Nzeusseu evened the game for UV with split charities 18 seconds later, before Abad gave the Lancers the lead with a basket at the 3:18 mark.
Abad’s triple proved to be the last basket of the game.
Reigning Rookie/MVP Hernal “Wowie” Escosio topscored for the Lancers with 17 points; Abad made 16 including five rebounds, three assists and one steal; Nzeusseu had 12 points, 18 rebounds, two assists and three steals; and Raffy Octobre also finished with 12 points.
Rabat topscored USC with 12 points, Magat had 10 and Salihou scored 10 on top of 15 rebounds, four assists, one steal and five blocks.
USJ-R, on the other hand, stunned SWU with an aggressive game at the start, holding the defending champions to just seven points in the opening quarter for a 15-7 lead.
However, the Jaguars failed to match its aggressiveness in the opening quarter as the Cobras wore them out slowly—in the next three quarters to secure the first slot to the finals.
Landry Sanjo scored 16 points, Monbert Arong added 12 and Bernie Bregondo finished with 10 for SWU while Miguel Tabaloc was the lone USJ-R player to score in double digits with 10.