MARK Jayven Tallo reminded the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers why he owns two straight MVP awards as he took charge in the final minutes of the game to lead the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras to a thrilling 65-57 win in the Cebu Classico match-up of the 2016 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
The classic match-up lived up to its promise as both teams played their best with Tallo shining the brightest to lead the Cobras to a perfect win-loss record of 6-0 at the end of their first round campaign. UV dropped to 5-1.
SWU held UV scoreless in the final 3:51 of the game, just as when UV took back the lead 57-54.
Tallo scored seven in the final stretch including the points that were awarded when UV import Bassieru Sackor was called for a goal tending violation at the 2:36 mark.
A minute and 15 seconds later, Tallo sank the dagger triple that secured the win for SWU.
What was missing on UV's side was the usual numbers of Rey Suerte, who was limited to just six points, and the dismal free throw performance of Sackor, who went 6-of-16 from the free throw line.
Tallo finished with the game-high 14 points on top of five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Shaquil Imperial, who ignited the second quarter rally of the Cobras, added 13, while Mark Racho made 11 points.
Sackor finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Tristan Albina also had 12 points and Joshue Segumpan had 10 points for UV.
Meanwhile, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers played exceptionally well to beat the SWU Baby Cobras, 67-66, in the high school game.
Winston Ynot came out of his shell as he delivered the kill, scoring the game-high 22 points that helped USPF score its first win in five games.
The defeat dragged the Baby Cobras down the ranking with a 2-4 win-loss record. The team is in danger of missing the cut for the quarterfinal round.
Ynot scored eight points, while George Cometa added seven as USPF opened the game with a 25-14 lead in the first quarter.
SWU failed to counter, and despite the 20-point production of Reign Baculio and the 12-point contribution of both Earl Flores and Kurt Alit, the Baby Cobras could only come to within a point and no further.