Green Lancers avoid sweep with double overtime Game 3 win
The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers lived to see another day as they rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth period to stun the defending champions Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras, 89-82, in an incredible double-overtime affair in Game Three of the best-of-five finals series of the 13th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament last night at the raucous Cebu Coliseum.
With their backs square against the wall, the Lancers pulled out all the stops and took advantage of the absence of SWU import Landry Sanjo, who fouled out with 4:42 left in regulation, to overhaul a 51-62 deficit. Then, they snatched the win in the second overtime behind gutsy performances by Alfred Codilla, John Abad and Mike Nzuesseu.
UV still trails 1-2 in the series but will go for the equalizer in Game 4 tomorrow at the same venue.
Nzuesseu broke out of his series-long stupor and scored 26 points, including a lay-up that put UV in front, 85-82, with 48.7 seconds left in the second extra session. After a turnover by SWU’s other import Fabrice Siewe, Abad sealed the game with four makes from the charity stripe to finish with 20 points. Codilla added 11 while surprise starter Leonard Santillan tallied 10 points to go with four rebounds and two steals.
“I just told them to stay focused and stick to the game plan,” UV head coach Donbell Belano said. “Dako sad na factor ang pagka-foul out ni (Landry) Sanjo as he really is a presence inside. Si (Leonard) Santillan, grabe ang ginapakita sa practice and we’re happy that he produced.”
The win put a stop to UV’s five-game losing streak to SWU this season, and the Cobras’ 14-game winning run.
SWU was ready to party after a nifty spin and lay-up by the league’s newly-named MVP Mark Jayven Tallo put the Cobras in front, 62-51, with 4:59 left in regulation.
Disaster struck as Sanjo committed a looseball foul, his fifth and last one. UV then pounced and went on a 10-0 run led by Nzuesseu, Codilla and Venhur Villamor that got the Lancers within one, 61-62.
After a three by SWU guard Adams Mohammed, UV tied the count at 65-all off two freebies by Abad and a fadeaway jumper by Wowie Escosio. The Lancers eventually took the lead off a corner three-pointer by Abad with 14.6 ticks left in regulation. Monbert Arong tied the game at 68-all with a long trifecta.
Abad missed a floater at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
The Lancers had a shot at winning the game in the extra session as they led, 77-74, after a bucket by Nzuesseu and a free throw by Codilla. But SWU tied the game again at 77-all with another three-point shot from Arong from the exact same spot where he made the game-tying basket in regulation.
UV had a chance to win the game on its last possession but Chris Perolino missed a wide-open jumper from the free throw area as time expired.
In the second overtime, the Cobras last held the lead at 80-79, after two free throws by Arong but Codilla pushed UV in front with two free-throws of his own while Abad extended it further, 85-82, with a crafty teardrop with 1:33 left to play. Siewe closed the gap for SWU with a bankshot but Nzuesseu and Abad conspired for the crucial points down the stretch to hack out the win.
Sanjo led SWU with 23 points while Arong, who was named to the Mythical Five earlier in the afternoon, added 16. Tallo, also a Mythical Five member along with CIT-U’s Joshua dela Cerna, UV’s Abad and the University of San Jose-Recoletos ‘s Miguel Tabaloc, finished with 14 assists but had just six points.
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