Agony prolonged

WHEN all hope seemed to have dissipated, fate suddenly gave them a break.

Defending champion Southwestern University Cobras had been resigned to accepting that they have lost the chance to defend their title in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) collegiate basketball tournament after losing to the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars in their semifinal match the other day.

However, there was a glimmer of hope for the Cobras following the outcome of the other semis game last Thursday, when the University of San Carlos Warriors defeated the University of the Visayas Green Lancers, 79-75, in a thrilling overtime victory, putting USC on top of the leaderboard, 2-0.

Because of the round-robin semifinal format, things just became more interesting for the final four protagonists as all of them find themselves in must-win situations to determine who will advance to the best-of-five finals series.

The outcome of this, however, will have to wait a little longer as Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy decided to postpone all games after a letter from USC and USJ-R complained about the revised schedule.

The games last Thursdaywere suddenly changed prompting USC and USJ-R to demand to revert back to the original schedule.

Tiukinhoy said the Board of Trustees will be meeting today to decide.

Meanwhile, USJ-R (1-1) could earn a slot to the finals if they beat USC (2-0). They can get the last slot without any hassle if UV (1-1) lost to SWU (0-2).

However, if UV wins the match against the Cobras, USJ-R needs to beat the Warriors to create a triple tie situation at 2-1 win-loss cards.

But the Jaguars need to beat USC by at least 15 points to top the points differential tie breaker. It would also mean that the Warriors will be out of the championship picture, while UV gets the other finals slot.

The Cobras meanwhile, gets that chance to defend the title if they could beat UV, and USC sweeps its semifinal assignments. USC will advance to the finals and a triple-tie situation among SWU, UV and USJ-R at 1-2 each will happen.

This will be SWU’s window of opportunity.

However, SWU needs the intervention of the basketball gods to accomplish this tough mission as they need to beat the Lancers by at least 17 points to make a trip to the finals for the fifth straight season.

The good news for the Cobras though is that swingman Jan Michael Auditor could rejoin the team after serving the one game suspension and the four-hour community service which he will complete today.
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