CEBU CITY – The Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras snapped their six-game slump in style, beating the University of Southern Philippine Foundation Panthers, 64-61, in the 2018 Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Sunday at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Cobras started the season on a winning note but lost their next six before pulling off the upset of the Panthers, thanks to clutch three-pointers from former Adamson guard William Polican. SWU-Phinma improved to 2-6 while USPF fell to 5-3.
SWU-Phinma led by as many as 13 and was still up, 48-56, when USPF rattled off nine straight points capped by a couple of three-pointers from veteran forward Roy Quiachon to grab the upper hand, 57-56, with 3:27 to go.
But the Cobras refused to unhinge, with Polican hitting two straight from beyond the arc to put his team back in front, 62-57, 2:25 remaining.
The Panthers pulled to within one, 61-62 after another triple by Quiachon and split charities from guard Graggy Sarahina and even got the ball back after a missed triple by Cobras guard Shaquille Imperial. But USPF could not capitalize, with wingman Lugie Cuyos pulling up from straightaway with a hand in his face.
Cobras big man Red Cachuela was then fouled and sank two free-throws with 0.4 of a second left to raise their lead to 64-61. On USPF’s final offensive, Polican blocked Sarahina’s desperation triple to preserve the win.
Another former Falcon, Gerald Fernandez, led SWU-Phinma with 15 points, Cachuela added 12 points and 10 boards while Polican pitched in 10 to go with four boards, two assists and three steals.
Quiachon ended up with 12 to lead USPF in scoring. The team’s Nigerian center, Rich Managor, struggled to find the basket and finished with seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. He also had six rebounds, three assists and six steals.
SWU-Phinma (64) Fernandez 15, Cachuela 12, Polican 10, Ugsang 9, Imperial 8, Bayhunan 4, Boc 4, Calumpang 2
USPF (61) Quiachon 12, Mangyao 9, Sarahina 7, Managor 7, Cauba 6, Villarta 5, Archival 4, Batac 4, Cuyos 3, Mendez 2, Yap 2
Quarterscores: 19-9, 31-24, 49-40, 64-61