Cobras trounce UAAP champions in Final Four round of NCC hoop
The Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras boldly spit their venom in the face of the mighty La Salle Green Archers as they upset the reigning UAAP champions, 68-58, in overtime at the start of the semifinal round of the 2013 National Collegiate Championship yesterday at the Blue Eagle gym in Quezon City.
Showing that they can indeed hang with the best collegiate basketball squads in the country, the Cobras came roaring back from a double-digit deficit in the first half and then had third-string power forward Melvin Holper and reigning Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) MVP Mark Jayven Tallo plunge daggers into the hearts of La Salle in overtime to earn their first win in this single round-robin competition.
SWU also played leech-like defense on La Salle’s two high scoring stars, Jeron Teng and Almond Vosotros. Teng, the UAAP Finals MVP, had just seven points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field while Vosotros managed just six, missing all but two of his 10 attempts.
Tallo, who played for the Archers back in 2012, stuck it to his old team with all-around effort of 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Moreover, he helped provide the firepower and the leadership in the extra session, where he scored four points and assisted on two difference-making three-point bombs by Holper that put SWU ahead, 64-58, with less than two minutes remaining.
Moments later, Cesafi Mythical Five member Monbert Arong hammered the final nail in La Salle’s coffin as he sank another three pointer that gave the Cobras a 67-58 lead, 1:16 left in overtime.
The lefty-handed Arong topped SWU with 17 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Afterwards, SWU head coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba urged his wards to keep their feet on the ground and their eyes on the prize. “It’s really good that we won the game but it’s still one game,” Alcoseba said. “One game does not bring us to the finals. We need to win the two remaining games so we have a chance in the finals.”
Next up for SWU is San Beda today at 2 p.m. at the Arena in San Juan City. A win today will place the Cobras in the best-of-three finals.
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