Green Lancers recover with 81-79 win over SWU in Game 2 of Cesafi seniors finals
Faced against great odds and the unlikely prospect of falling to a 0-2 hole, the University of the Visayas Green Lancers dug down deep and got clutch baskets from their veterans to hack out an 81-79 win over the Southwestern University Cobras in Game 2 of the 12th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) men’s basketball tournament finals last night at the Cebu Coliseum.
John Abad once again came up big for the Lancers with 17 points, eight of which came in the fourth period as UV tied the best-of-five series at 1-1.
Eman Calo led UV with 19 markers while league MVP and Rookie of the Year Wowie Escosio added 16 points.
Meanwhile, the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles gun for a sweep and the title in the juniors division when they tangle with the struggling defending champions University of the Visayas Baby Lancers in Game Three of their best-of-five finals series today.
The Eagles aim to finish the series today after winning Game Two in convincing fashion, 96-82, with league MVP Dawn Ochea leading the way with 29 points and 18 rebounds for a 2-0 series lead. SHS-AdC won Game One, 80-76.
In yesterday’s game, SWU zoomed to a 10-point lead, 60-50, in the fourth period but disaster struck after both of their prized big men from Cameroon fouled out of the game. Ben Mbala was the first as he incurred his fifth foul with 5:27 left in the game. He was followed to the bench by Justin Aboude, who was slapped his last foul minutes later.
With the SWU frontline looking pint-sized, UV veteran guard Phil Mercader and Escosio worked down low with the latter’s basket inside the lane eventually tying the game at 73-all. Calo stole the ball on SWU’s botched inbound play and layed the ball in for a 75-73 lead with 1:16 left.
SWU’s Bernie Bregondo calmly sank two freebies to knot the count once more at 75-all. Arong, who was celebrating his birthday yesterday, utilized a screen from Bregondo, rose up high and sank a straight-away trey to give SWU a 78-75 lead with 50.5 ticks remaining.
The Lancers’ Abad got open from the left wing and swished the equalizing three-pointer. SWU had several chances to retake the lead but Bregondo and Joseph Nalos missed leading to a broken play with the ball eventually ending up in Escosio’s hands. He made an unmolested layup to give the driver’s seat back to UV with 13.3 left.
The Cobras had a chance to tie the game as Nalos was fouled on his way to the rack but the guard gave in to nerves and split his charities for a 79-80 count. Abad was sent to the line with 2.6 seconds remaining where he sealed the game with a split. SWU was led by the 28 of Arong while Mbala got 13 points.
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