CEBU CITY – The Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras bagged their first win of the season with an 87-45 rout of the rudderless Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats in the 17th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Thursday night at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Smarting from two straight losses to start the season, the Cobras threw the first punch – quite literally – in a game marred by a fracas with 5:40 left in the third period that saw SWU-Phinma’s ace guard John Lloyd Luz and CIT-U’s big man Kerr Nemil get thrown out of the game for fighting.
The hostilities started when Nemil fouled Luz hard on his way to the rack. The former Far Eastern University Tamaraw took exception to the forearm shiver that he received and quickly threw a haymaker that connected, which left the wide-bodied Nemil battered and bleeding.
“Wala na eh. Inunahan nya ako. Nandilim na paningin ko,” remarked Luz, who was still seething as he was seated right behind the Cobras’ bench.
The skirmish, though, proved to be the only opposition the Cobras faced all evening as they took control of the game early with a 19-0 blast anchored on the hot shooting of sophomore two-guard Shaquille Imperial, who sank three three-pointers – including a rare four-point play – that helped the Cobras surge to a 28-6 lead.
It was all downhill from there as the Cobras stepped on the Wildcats’ throats, holding them to just five points in the last canto to come away with the huge 42-point win.
Imperial led the Cobras with 19 points, a couple of rebounds and steals while reserve center Edmundo Bayhonan almost had a double-double of 10 points and eight boards. Dyll Roncal also came off the bench and pitched in 10 points, five boards, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
The Wildcats suffered their fourth straight loss and remained winless this season.
SWU-Phinma (87) Imperial 19, Bayhonan 10, Roncal 10, Fernandez 8, Molina 7, Racho 6, Reyes 5, R Ugsang 5, Z Ugsang 4, Bilao 3, Pardo 3, Delos Santos 3, Luz 2, Polican 2
CITU (45) Muñez 14, Sable 9, Kong 8, Bucao 7, Mumar 6, Jabines 1
Quarterscores: 28-6, 41-22, 67-40, 87-45