CEBU CITY – The Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras upended the Cebu Landmasters-University of San Carlos Warriors, 80-73, in a tension-filled game in the 2018 Cesafi Partner’s Cup Preseason Tournament on Thursday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
All eyes – especially that of game officials – were on this game as it involved SWU-Phinma’s Reeve Ugsang and USC’s Kent Cabanog, after the former filed a case of physical injuries against the latter as a result of an alleged punching incident that happened during an exhibition game in Cordova back in March.
But after all the unsportsmanlike infractions and technical fouls, the Cobras proved steadier as they rode the hot shooting of Shaquille Imperial and the timely scoring of William Polican to help them nab the win, their first in three tries.
Imperial finished with 29 points while the Ugsang brothers, Reeve and Zyro, scored 10 apiece. Polican, sidelined for most of the game because of foul trouble, came up big in the fourth, where he scored all eight of his points, including a three-point play that put the Cobras ahead, 76-67.
However, the Warriors pulled to within three, 73-76, after two triples from Lucky Ecarma, with just one minute and 23 seconds to go.
But Imperial was unfazed as he stepped to the line and sealed the win by making four straight free-throws in the dying seconds to dispatch the Warriors, who dropped their second straight game after opening this preseason tournament with two consecutive victories.
Afterwards, SWU-Phinma head coach Mike Reyes disclosed that he had already issued a stern warning to his wards regarding any 'extracurricular activities' in this particular game.
“I told them that if they did anything out of the ordinary, they will have me to answer to,” Reyes said.
“In fact, I told Reeve (Ugsang) who I saw do something in the first, that if he repeated anything of that sort, he will sit down for the rest of the game,” he added.