UV Green Lancers down SWU Cobras to set up Cesafi finals showdown against USC Warriors
Alfred Codilla and the Lancers easily dispose of titleholders Cobras. Ron Tolin

CEBU CITY – University of the Visayas routed dethroned champion Southwestern University, 74-59, on Sunday to reach the finals of the 15th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.

The Cobras struck early but were not able to sustain it and the Lancers uncorked a 10-2 run early in the second that gave them the lead for good.

Skipper Franz Arong led the 10-time Cebu champions with 16 points highlighted by three straight three-pointers that pushed their lead to 65-45 early in the fourth.

Alfred Codilla scored 15 markers, Arvie Cabanero had 12, while one-time Batang Gilas wingman Leonard Santillan came up with 10 points for the Green Lancers. 

They will battle University of San Carlos in best-of-five finals starting on October 11.

SWU played inspired ball early and led, 18-14, after a triple by Melvin Holper and driving lay-in by John Lloyd Luz near the end of the first. But UV’s reserves struck back to regain the lead behind Davao-native Rey Suerte who sparked the turnaround with a triple and a transition basket that gave UV a 21-18 lead.

Cabanero then scored consecutive buckets and Cameroonian center Steve Akomo added a putback to give the Lancers a 32-23 lead at halftime.

The Cobras trimmed the deficit to six, 28-34, but the Lancers scored nine unanswered points capped by an unmolested lay-in by Cabanero for a 43-28 lead.

Mac Racho led SWU with 13, while Jan Auditor added 10.

The Cobras play the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars in the battle for third place.

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