CESAFI: SWU Cobras defeat UV Green Lancers in possible finals preview

Mars G. Alison
CESAFI: SWU Cobras defeat UV Green Lancers in possible finals preview
SWU finishes the first round at 6-0 as the two top teams in this year's CESAFI goes down to the wire

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A neck-to-neck fight between league leaders University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers and the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras was decided by costly turnovers in the final canto as the Cobras pulled away with a win against the Green Lancers, 65-57, in their much anticipated first meeting in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc (CESAFI), Thursday, September 1.

The win allowed the SWU Cobras to sweep the first round of eliminations with a 6-0 card to become the league’s solo leader while the Green Lancers dropped to the second spot and will start the second round of eliminations with a 5-1 win-loss record.

The first meeting between the two teams was much hyped by the fact that both teams shared the top spot with identical 5-0 win-loss record. Both are also tapped by many as the teams which will be going up against each other for this season’s title, making the game a possible preview for this year’s finals series.

In fact, the New Cebu Coliseum started filling out with spectators an hour before the ballgame and during game time was almost packed to the rafters. It was the first full house of the season which could mean an exciting finals series should these two indeed meet in the championship.

No two other teams are evenly matched this season with the Cobras now showcasing a full roster and the Green Lancers exhibiting a better line-up from last year. Both have the big men aside from their imports while both also have speedy small point guards. Both also have deep benches to draw from, while Mark Jayven “MacMac” Tallo leads the Cobras and Rey Anthony Suerte leads the Green Lancers.

However, it was Tallo who seemed to have more heart as he led his team with 14 points including 7-straight points with barely 5 minutes left in the final canto. The former MVP in both the high school and collegiate CESAFI also pulled down 5 boards, two assists and two steals, including a moment where he swiped the ball from Suerte with a little more than two minutes left in the ballgame.

Suerte scored just 6 points but he made up for it in other departments, grabbing 9 rebounds along with 7 assists, two steals and one block.

The game lived up to the hype as it did not disappoint the huge crowd that gathered to watch it as both teams gave it their all from the start until the dwindling minutes. The game featued 10 deadlocks, including the 30-all tie that ended the first half.

Neither team was able to pull away from each other, ending the first canto with the Green Lancers taking a slim advantage at 15-14. Although the Cobras enjoyed a 3-point lead going into the final canto, 52-49, the Green Lancers immediately took the upperhand early in the fourth quarter courtesy of Jan Monic Soliva at the 7:43 mark which started 5 lead exchanges before the Cobras pulled away, holding the Green Lancers scoreless until the final buzzer.

Showing their appreciation for the support from classmates and schoolmates, the Cobras faced them after winning and together they sang their school’s anthem.

Meanwhile, the lone high school contest saw the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers finally barging into the win column with a 67-66 edging of the SWU Baby Cobras, preventing what would have been a sweep for the day for SWU.

Winston Jay Ynot had one of his best games with 22 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 8 steals and 4 blocks.



SWU Cobras (65) – Tallo 14, Imperial 13, Racho 11, Luz 9, Bregondo 6, Nzuzi 4, Polican 3, Bravo 2, Molina 2, Barte 1.  

UV Green Lancers (57) – Albina 12, Sackor 12, Segumpan 10, Suerte 6, Balabag 5, Soliva 4, Gahi 3, Macion 3, Napao 2.

High School

USPF Baby Panthers (67) – Ynot 22, Cometa 16, Orillameda 8, Archival 7, Ocavo 5, Lequin 4, Sanjorjo 4, Sullano 1.

SWU Baby Cobras (66) – Baculio 20, Alit 12, Flores 12, Isip 6, Claracay 5, Rosano 5, Montano 4, Bantiles 2.

Games September 3, Saturday

1 pm – CEC vs DBTC (HS)

2:30 pm – SWU vs USC (HS)

4 pm – CITU vs UC (HS)

5:30 pm – USJ-R vs USPF (College) – Rappler.com

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