DOUBTERS will have to eat their words as the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers proved to be a worthy addition to the first Asia Pacific University Games (Apug). They strung up two wins that put them in a good spot to take the second place finish in the basketball tournament.
The most monumental win for the Panthers was over the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) 2015 champions University of San Carlos Warriors, 74-61, last Saturday. USPF logged its second win yesterday following a 91-86 overtime win over the Universiti Technologi Mara (UiTM) of Malaysia to improve its standing to 2-1.
As the Panthers proved to be a surprise in this tournament, so were the Warriors, but in a disappointing manner. The Cesafi champions formally ended their campaign with a 1-3 card after losing to the Nippon Sports Science University Lions of Japan, 73-70, yesterday.
The Lions stayed unbeaten in three games and is expected to bag the championships trophy despite the outcome of their game against UiTM at 3:30 p.m. today. .
The University of Cebu and USPF will face off at 2 p.m.
UC and USPF both have 2-1 records will vie for the second place.
Highschool standout Ain Obenza showed he is cut for the team as he led the Panthers with a personal high 32 points agianst the bigger Malaysians.
Lyndon Colina added 13, Karl Langahin added 12 and Brentford Borces made 10 for the new-faced Panthers.
Meanwhile, NSSU Lions schooled USC with its crisp passing, no-dribble ball movement and sharp-shooting outside game to virtually bag the basketball title.
USC saw a glimpse of hope on Lucky Ecarma and William McAlloney. but unfortunately their efforts were shut down by Oshiro Yusaku and Sekido Yusuke, who rallied the Lions to a breathtaking finish.
Yusuke topscored for the Lions with 16 points and Yusaku added 14 while Ian Tagapan finished with 19 points and Nico Magat had 10 for the Warriors.