CEBU CITY – Failing in its bid to defend its Cesafi (Cebu Schools Athletic Federation Inc.) title, Southwestern University eyes the next best thing to do – earn a return trip to the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).
And the Cobras come close of achieving the goal after thrashing University of San Jose- Recoletos Jaguars, 84-66, in Game One of their battle for third place Tuesday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Two-time league MVP Mark Jayven Tallo had a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds on top of five assists and two steals, while reserve forward Mac Racho scattered 19 points for the Cobras.
Filipino-Samoan rookie power forward Juju Bautista also did his share for the deposed champion with 10 points and 10 boards, while John Lloyd Luz pitched in 10 markers, six rebounds, seven dimes, and three steals.
Showing the fire that was lacking in the team’s injury-plagued campaign this season, the Cobras started strong and posted lead as much as 63-33 following an 11-0 blast in the third period en route to the easy win.
The Cesafi champion will earn a spot in the Elite Eight of the PCCL, while the second and third place winners will get spots to the Visayas qualifying tournament to be held in Ormoc.
SWU (84) -- Tallo 20, Racho 19, Bautista 10, Luz 10, Holper 9, Auditor 8, Pardo 4, Clam 2, Gonzaga 0.
USJ-R (66) -- Dinolan 18, Labares 12, Villafranca 8, Gastador 7, Paon 7, Peromingan 6, Moral 4, Senining 1, Bayhonan 0, Mantilla 0, Risma 0.
Quarterscores: 22-11; 46-27; 69-41; 84-66.