CEBU CITY — John Lloyd Luz made up for anemic performances in previous games, hitting a three-pointer with a tenth of a second left to give Southwestern University a 79-77 win over University of San Carlos on Sunday in the 15th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Cobras handed the Warriors their first loss of the season, with Luz stepping up in the second half to score all 20 of his points.
SWU was down a point just second left to play but with ball in hand after USC’s reinforcement Shooster Olago was called for a three-second violation.
Two-time league MVP Mac Tallo brought the ball to the left wing and drove it along the baseline, then found an open Luz in the corner who knocked down the trey to give the Cobras the lead, the win and gain payback against the Warriors who bested them in the first round, 64-76.
After a subpar outing that saw him score just seven points on 3-of-15 shooting in their loss to the University of the Visayas last Thursday, Tallo bounced back and had a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds laced with four assists.
Forward Jan Auditor also helped out with a dozen points while Filipino-Samoan Juju Bautista had 11 markers, eight rebounds, two steals and a block.
USC, which fell to 6-1 (win-loss), got 20 points and 14 boards from Olago, and 14 markers from Victor Rabat.
It was a sorry loss for the Warriors who battled back from an early 11-21 deficit and took a 49-41 lead in the third after a triple from Kiefer Lim. But the Cobras fought back behind Luz who scored 12 of the team’s next 17 points to bring them to within three, 61-64, heading to the final frame.
SWU 79 — Tallo 23, Luz 20, Auditor 12, Bautista 11, Holper 8, Pardo 5, Racho 0, Gonzaga 0, Clam 0.
USC 77 — Olago 20, Rabat 14, Tagapan 9, Ortega 9, Lim 8, Pepito 6, McAloney 6, Magat 3, Laguyo 2, Maconocido 0, Suarez 0.
Quarterscores: 21-13; 36-36; 61-64; 79-77.