CEBU CITY – The University of the Visayas Green Lancers sent a statement about their title intentions to the rest of the league as they destroyed erstwhile leaders University of San Carlos Warriors, 74-43, in the 15th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Sunday evening at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Green Lancers unleashed 40 minutes of hell upon the Warriors behind a full-court press that hounded them from opening tip to the final buzzer, last season’s runner-up to their lowest point total of the season.
The two teams are now tied atop the standings at 9-2 (win-loss).
Veteran guard Alfred Codilla scored 18 points to lead UV while former Batang Gilas wingman Leonard Santillan added 14 markers and seven boards.
After getting torched by his compatriot, Shooster Olago, in their first match-up in the elimination round, Steve Akomo got payback as he nearly had a double-double of 10 points and eight rebounds, all while anchoring a stifling interior defense that helped limit USC’s reinforcement to a mere 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
UV did not take too long to impose its will on their opponents as they rattled off an 18-3 run sparked by the offensive exploits of Santillan and wily guard Alfred Codilla and surged ahead, 33-13, after the opening canto.
Things did not get any better for USC as they managed a mere six points in the second period while the Green Lancers kept on humming, with a layup by Alwyn Aguirre and a transition basket by Santillan pushing their lead to 44-19 at halftime.
The closest the Warriors could come after that was at 19, 39-58, as Codilla put the finishing touches on the morale-boosting win with a pull-up three-pointer and a stepback jumper that pushed the lead back to 68-41, 3:45 remaining.
Codilla led UV with 18 points while Santillan added 14 points and seven rebounds.
UV (74) - Codilla 18, Santillan 14, Akomo 10, Napao 6, Manzo 5, Arong 5, Aguirre 5, Segumpan 5, Balabag 4, Cabañero 2, Suerte 0, Mendoza 0, Veloso 0, Macion 0.
USC (43) - Olago 13, Tagapan 6, Magat 6, Pepito 6, Ortega 5, Lim 3, Laguyo 2, Adlawan 2, Maconocido 0, Suarez 0, McAloney 0, Oleodo 0.
Quarterscores: 31-13; 44-19; 58-37; 74-43.