CEBU CITY – The Southwestern University Cobras moved a win away from their second title in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament after holding off the University of San Carlos Warriors, 60-49 on Thursday at the Cebu Coliseum.
Guard Jovanie 'John Lloyd' Luz reprised his hero's role from Game One as he made several crucial plays in the fourth quarter while backcourt mate Mark Jayven Tallo awoke from his slumber to score 12 including a game-sealing jumper as the Cobras took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five finals.
The Cobras will go for all the marbles in Game Four on Friday.
Luz, the former Far Eastern University guard, finished with 12 points and three steals. Tallo, who shot 0-for-9 in a Game Two loss, bounced back with performance he capped with an and-one lay-up over the outstretched arms of USC’s import Shooster Olago.
He also had four rebounds, a steal and a block.
SWU’s Cameroonian reinforcement Landry Sanjo once again battled foul trouble and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds while Daryl Goloran also had 10.
Holding Olago to 11 points on 1-of-5 shooting, SWU led by as much as nine points, 41-32. But eight free throws by Olago near the end of the third brought USC closer, 41-44.
But Luz once again came through in the clutch, hitting a corner triple before stripping the ball away from USC guard Gio Laguyo at halfcourt and going all the way for the lay-up for a 53-45 lead, 4:44 remaining.
The Warriors last threatened at 47-53 after two more charities by Victor Rabat but SWU put the game away with a jumper from Goloran, free throws by Sanjo and Luz and a keyhole jumpshot by Tallo that sealed the game’s outcome with 39.7 ticks left.
Rabat led USC with 12 points but the Warriors shot themselves in the foot with their abysmal 2-of-22 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
SWU (60) - Tallo 12, Luz 12, Goloran 10, Sanjo 10, Bregondo 6, Mohammed 5, Parker 3, Valdor 2, Pardo 0, Holper 0.
USC (49) - Rabat 12, Olago 11, Toyambi 9, Pepito 6, Magat 4, Tagapan 3, Lim 2, Laguyo 2, Asuncion 0, Laude 0, Bensig 0, Malana 0, Ecarma 0, Adlawan 0.
Quarterscores: 10-10; 28-20; 44-41; 60-49.