Green Lancers escape gritty USC Warriors to score fourth victory
The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers hit their stride down the stretch and it could not have come at a better time as they needed every bit of it to beat the resilient University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 77-63, in the 13th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament last night at the Cebu Coliseum.
The former nine-time champions led by as many 23 points, 32-9, in the second period, where they held the Warriors scoreless for the first eight and a half minutes and just five points total in that stretch for a 33-14 halftime lead.
The Warriors fought back but eventually fell short as John Abad and Wowie Escosio hit several crucial baskets in crunchtime to push the Lancers to their fourth win in five games.
Escosio, the league’s reigning MVP, led the Lancers with 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Abad, the preseason Partner’s Cup MVP, had 14 markers, two rebounds, two assists and four steals. Import Mike Harry added nine points and 14 rebounds.
The Warriors, who fell to an even 2-2 (win-loss), were led by the 15 of former University of Mindanao ace Miguel Plata and the 13 of Stephen Que.
For a while, the game had all the makings of a blowout as the Lancers scored 16 straight in the second period to build what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.
But the Warriors lived up to their moniker and made their way back into the game with 13 -2 run in the third, capped by a three-point play by import Ahmed Salihou and a straightaway three-point bomb by Que that sliced the deficit to 10, 35-45.
They got the lead down to three, 51-54, at the onset of the final canto off a drive by Dave Guardiario. But the Lancers stood their ground and kept the Warriors at bay.
Fortunately for USC, the Baby Warriors (4-2) averted a double black-eye after they won over the University of Cebu Baby Webmasters (1-5), 70-41.
In other games, the University of San Jose-Recoletos Baby Jaguars notched their first win of the season by beating the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Baby Panthers, 78-67.
The UV Baby Lancers (5-2) were also victorious as they escaped the upset-seeking Don Bosco Greywolves (0-6), 55-52.
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