SWU beats UV to win National Collegiate C’ship Southern Island crown
Revenge is a dish best served cold. And for the Southwestern University Cobras, they exacted this with a side of ice to their bitter rivals, the reigning Cesafi champions University of the Visayas Green Lancers, as they claimed the Southern Island title of the 2013 National Collegiate Championship with a 68-60 win in a hotly-contested finals yesterday at the Cebu Coliseum.
Though far from the fanfare that surrounded their epic five-game finale in the Cesafi last month, the game still exuded with both intensity and dislike for one another as a total of four unsportsmanlike fouls were called along with the ejection of UV head coach Donbel Belano late in the third canto.
In spite of the shenanigans, the Cobras dug down deep to withstand a furious UV rally from 25-points down to win the game and earn a ticket to the Final Four where they will face the country’s best collegiate squads – UAAP champions La Salle and NCAA rulers San Beda – along with the winner of the Luzon-Metro Manila regionals.
Cesafi Mythical Five member, Monbert Arong, the player criticized heavily for his lackadaisical play during the Cesafi finals, redeemed himself as he scored 25 points, including 10 in the fourth period that helped hold off the rampaging Lancers. Import Landry Sanjo topscored for the Cobras with 25 points.
For a moment, it seemed as if the Cobras would take this one without much opposition from the Lancers as they led, 23-7, after the opening canto and pushed that lead to a high of 25, 34-9, off an 11-2 run at the start of the second period.
But just like they did in their historic comeback against SWU in the Cesafi finals, where they overhauled a 0-2 series deficit to claim the title in five games, the Lancers showed tremendous fight and trimmed the deficit to 14, 35-49, heading to the last stanza.
However, they lost Belano at the 1:13 mark of that stretch after the fiery coach was ejected for vehemently arguing an unsportsmanlike foul called on UV’s Franz Arong.
Instead of getting discouraged, UV used that as a rallying cry and came within seven, 42-49, after a short 7-0 burst.
But SWU weathered that storm and brought their lead back to 14 with a lay-up and two free-throws by Arong and a three-pointer by Mark Panerio. Still, the Lancers crawled to within four, 58-62, off a 9-0 run capped by a three-pointer by John Abad, 1:53 to go.
Arong refused to be fazed and calmly sank two free-throws before UV’s Franz Arong retaliated a lay-up for a 60-64 count. Sanjo then put the game away as he made a lay-in off a great feed by Arong with 54 ticks remaining. Arong then added a leaner to peg the final tally.
UV import Steve Akomo carried the fight for UV with 15 markers while Abad, the Lancers’ most prolific offensive weapon, was held down to just 10 markers.
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