THE Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras booked its fourth straight appearance to the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) finals after eliminating the hard-fighting University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars (USJ-R) 75-72 in their semifinal match last night in the Cebu Coliseum last night.
In the highschool division quarterfinal round, No.2 seed University of the Visayas Baby Lancers grabbed a slot in the semifinals after beating No. 7 seed USJ-R Baby Jaguars, 57-53, while the sixth seed University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers lived to play another day after beating second seed University of San Carlos Baby Warriors, 57-47.
The winner take all match betwen the Baby Warriors and the Baby Panthers is scheduled at 4 p.m. today.
The victors of this match will join top seed Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles—who got the automatic semifinal slot— Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildkittens and the UV Baby Lancers to the double-round-robin semifinal round.
The SWU Cobras on the other hand took will play the University of San Carlos Warriors in the Best-of-5 championship series, which will start on Oct.12.
The Warriors are the third team that the Cobras will play in the finals.
In 2011, SWU lost to the UC Webmasters 3-2, then defeated UV 3-2 in 2012 and lost to UV in 2013 also via 3-2 decision.
SWU’s win however did not go easy as the Jaguars put up a huge game despite another break out game of SWU’s Landry Sanjo, who scored the game high 32 points.
Although USJ-R had the lead only once, they were trailing closely all the time including when they were two points away 72-74 in the final 3.6 seconds of the game.
After Sanjo split his charities at the 2.7 mark, USJ-R had the chance to send the game into overtime with Iron Suano’s three-point attempt, but fell short for the Cobras to advance.
The comeback of the Jaguars however was not easy.
USJ-R was trailing by as many as 16-points, 47-31 midway to the third period and was trailing by as much as 12 points, 74-62 in the final two minutes of the game when the Jaguars dropped a telling 10-0 run that had coach Yayoy Alcoseba at the edge of his seat.
Aside from Sanjo, reigning MVP Mark Jayven Tallo added 12 points for the Cobras. Kevin Villafranca topscored for USJ-R with 23 points, while Mark Labares and Suano finished with 12 points each.