CEBU CITY – Two-time league MVP Macmac Tallo waxed hot late, scoring seven straight including a booming three-pointer, that helped carry the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras past rival University of the Visayas Green Lancers, 65-57, in the 16th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Thursday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Angered by a hard foul he thought was intentional on the part of UV, Tallo made the Green Lancers pay with three straight buckets that helped turn a 54-57 deficit into a 63-57 lead with 1:21 to go. Then the Cobras never looked back from there to complete a sweep of the first round with a 6-0 win-loss card.
Tallo finished with 14 points and five rebounds while rookie guard Shaquille Imperial backed him up with 13 points and five steals. Mark Racho came off the bench and pumped in 11.
In the latest chapter of Cebu’s most heated collegiate basketball rivalry, the Green Lancers led 57-54 after an alley-oop lay-up by Tristan Albina and a turnaround jumper by Monic Soliva.
But SWU guard John Lloyd Luz cut it down to one with a pull-up jumper from the keyhole and Tallo gave them back the lead, 58-57, with a transition lay-up over the outstretched arms of UV wingman Rey Suerte. Another Tallo bucket, this time after a goaltending call on Liberian forward Bassiere Sackour, pushed the lead to three, 60-57, with 2:36 left.
Tallo then sealed the game on SWU’s next possession. Guarded by UV skipper Josue Segumpan, Tallo juked right, stopped on a dime and pulled the trigger on a long triple that hit nothing but the bottom of the net to extend their lead to six, 63-57, with just 1:21 to go.
UV, which got 12 points and 11 rebounds from Sackour, fell to 5-1. Albina also had 12 while Segumpan chipped in 10. The Green Lancers, though, suffered from the measly six-point outing of Suerte, the team’s ace wingman, who only hit 2-of-11 from the field.
SWU (65) Tallo 14, Imperial 13, Racho 11, Luz 9, Bregondo 6, Nzuzi 4, Polican 3, Molina 2, Bravo 2, Barte 1
UV (57) Sackour 12, Albina 12, Segumpan 10, Suerte 6, Balabag 5, Soliva 4, Macion 3, Gahi 3, Napao 2
Quarterscores: 14-15, 30-30, 52-49, 65-57