CEBU CITY – The Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras won their third game in a row after blasting the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers, 88-64, in the 16th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Thursday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Finally showing the kind of cohesion that head coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba had wished his team had since the start of the season, five different players scored in double-figures for the Cobras led by two-time league MVP Macmac Tallo and John Lloyd Luz with 15 apiece. Tallo also added 11 rebounds and four assists to his name.
Returning big man Bernie Bregondo also had a double-double of his own with 14 points and 12 rebounds while former Perpetual Help Altalette Sir Shaquille Imperial contributed 12. Veteran forward Ian Ortega came off the bench and chipped in 10.
The Cobras appeared headed towards a blowout win from the get-go, building a 17-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 27-10. But the Panthers rallied to within five, 31-36, behind a flurry of points from Kenneth Cada, Clyde Avancena and Gilbert Sastrillas.
Luz and former Adamson Falcon guard William Polican, though, stabilized the Cobras with their heady playmaking and scored nine unanswered points that bumped their lead up to 45-31 at the turn.
The Cobras then put the Panthers out of their misery with an 18-8 blast in the third sparked by Tallo, who punctuated the run with a nifty lay-up and a corner triple that gave them a 63-39 cushion with 2:03 to go in that stretch.
Roy Quiatchon and Gilbert Sastrillas each had 10 for the Panthers, which lost for the third time in as many matches.
SWU (88) Luz 15, Tallo 15, Bregondo 14, Imperial 12, Ortega 10, Nzuzi 5, Racho 5, Molina 4, Bravo 2, Barte 2
USPF (64) Sastrillas 10, Quiatchon 10, Cada 9, Avancena 7, Cando 6, Mangyao 5, Langahin 5, Colina 4, Bajamunde 3, Tenebroso 3, Batac 2
Quarterscores: 27-10, 45-31, 65-45, 88-64