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CEBU CITY, Philippines – Mark Jayven “MacMac” Tallo was named the Best Player of the ballgame for the third straight time as the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras came from behind to keep their winning streak against the defending champion University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 58-54, Sunday, September 4 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
The SWU Cobras overcame a 15-point deficit and had to work really hard to stay on top of the leaderboard unbeaten with a record of 7-0.
Tallo and his “never say die” attitude sparked a rally for a lethargic Cobras which was trailing the Warriors by 6 points, 47-41, with a little less than 5 minutes in the final quarter. The two-time Most Valuable Player hit a trey at the 4:22 mark to bring the Cobras to just 3 points behind, 44-47. USC’s Jules Langres quickly answered with a jumper that put the Cobras at arms length again, 49-44.
However, 5 straight points from Tallo including a 3-point play when he was fouled by Bryan Divinagracia at the 2:59 mark put the Cobras on top, 51-49, for the first time in the ballgame since tying the game at 4-all in the first few minutes in the first quarter.
Malcolm Tan had a chance to give back USC the lead when he was fouled by Mark Racho with 2:33 left, however, he only sank one of his two gift shots.
Jovanie Luz then put the Cobras a basket away, 52-50, by converting one of his charities when he was fouled by Giovannie Laguyo. Tallo then attempted a shot from the rainbow but missed the mark. The game was eventually decided by charities, two each for Shaquille Imperial and Bernie Bregondo.
Tallo scored 17 points, 10 of which he scored in the final canto. He also pulled down 5 rebounds and managed one steal.
The game did not end without an incident as SWU’s Darwin Barte was thrown out of the game with a little more than a minute left in the first half for punching Tan in the face.
In the other collegiate game, the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers bounced back from the first defeat it suffered at the hands of the SWU Cobras last September 1 with an 80-69 outsmarting of the Cebu Institute of Technology University (CIT-U) Wildcats.
Rey Anthony Suerte bounced back as well by taking the Best Player title with his 17 markers, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
While the Green Lancers started the second round of elimination on a positive note with a 6-1 slate, the Wildcats remain winless for the first time in recent CESAFI history having dropped all seven of their games so far.
Games September 6
5:15 pm – DBTC vs CITU (HS)
6:45 pm – USJ-R vs SWU (College) – Rappler.com