CEBU CITY, Philippines - The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers made the first statement in their campaign for an 11th title as they take Game 1 of the best-of-5 finals series with a blowout win over defending champions University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 76-60, in the CESAFI collegiate basketball tournament Saturday, October 15, at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Earlier in the first game of the day, the Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras took Game 1 of the best-of-3 Fight for Third with an 85-80 outlasting of the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars.
Jan Monic Soliva once again made his presence felt by leading the Green Lancers with a double-double performance of 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also managed 3 assists, two steals and two blocks.
The Warriors, on the other hand, was topscored by Ian Jefferson Tagapan with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and one steal.
The win allowed the UV Green Lancers to lead the 2016 Finals Series 1-0 with Game 2 scheduled on Monday, October 17.
Both teams kept pace with each other in the first half wherein the game deadlocked 5 times including the 37-all that ended the second quarter.
The UV Green Lancers started pulling away from the USC Warriors when they ran off a 9-0 run in the last 3 minutes of the third quarter, which had UV having a 9-point advantage, 58-49, going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was an all Green Lancers show with UV continuing to build upon their upperhand and posting their highest lead at 72-53 on Jayson Balabag’s basket.
With the time running out, the closest that USC could come was just at 16 points.
In the fight for third, Bernie Bregondo led the SWU-Phinma Cobras with a double-double performance of 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Jaybie Mantilla topscored for the USJ-R Jaguars with 25 points, albeit for a losing cause.
Meanwhile, tomorrow’s 4 pm schedule will see the Game 2 of the High School division best-of-3 Finals series between Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles and University of Cebu (UC) Junior Webmasters.
The UC Junior Webmasters are under pressure to win Game 2 and force a rubbermatch against the Magis Eagles who are on the brink of bringing home their fourth straight title.
Fight for Third Place Game 1
SWU-Phinma Cobras (85) - Racho 18, Luz 17, Bregondo 15, Tallo 13, Barte 6, Imperial 6, Roncal 3, Molina 2.
USJ-R Jaguars (80) - Mantilla 25, Dinolan 24, Pastias 16, Peromingan 10, Nunez 2, Catiloc 1.
Finals Game 1
UV Green Lancers (76) - Soliva 18, Suerte 13, Codilla 12, Albina 9, Gahi 7, Sackor 6, Segumpan 5, Balabag 4, Mavion 2.
USC Warriors (60) - Tagapan 12, Munez 11, Oleodo 11, Rabat 7, Tan 6, Divinagracia 5, Ntumba 4, Catapusan, Laguyo 2. – Rappler.com