CEBU CITY — Shaquille Imperial came up with a steal and a three-point play in the closing seconds to lift Southwestern University past University of the Visayas, 70-67, in the Cesafi basketball tournament on Tuesday at the Cebu Coliseum.
SWU’s ninth win in 11 games assured the Cobras of a top two finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
UV slipped to third with a 7-4 record with one game left in the eliminations.
The Green Lancers held a 67-65 lead after veteran forward Monic Soliva banked in a basket off a well-executed inbound play with just 32 seconds remaining.
SWU-Phinma however, equalized at 67 as Imperial went coast-to-coast for a left-handed layup, leaving UV with 21 ticks to work with.
UV immediately sued for time and inbounded the ball under SWU-Phinma’s basket.
Jancork Cabahug’s pass to Gabriel Cometa got tipped away from behind by Imperial, who immediately picked it up and put it in for the go-ahead bucket while getting fouled by Cometa.
Imperial made the bonus free-throw with 17.8 seconds to go for the final count as Sheldon Gahi missed his three-point try.
Lamine Thiam paced SWU-Phinma with 18 points and 14 rebounds, William Polican and Red Cachuela added 12 markers each, while Dyll Roncal contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
Cabahug and Gahi scored 11 points for UV.