CEBU CITY - The University of San Carlos Warriors bolstered their bid in the Elite Eight of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League after slipping past the University of the Visayas Green Lancers 78-75 on Monday at the Cebu Coliseum.
USC ended the stage with a 3-1 win-loss after scaping past a Green Lancers squad that had momentum on its side after rousing wins over UAAP champions National University and NCAA runners-up Arellano University.
UV dropped to an even 2-2.
The Warriors led for most of the way and were still up by 10, 64-54, at the end of the third. But the never-say-die Lancers came roaring back and pulled within one 73-74 behind the heads-up plays of Franz Arong and Steve Akomo.
USC import Shooster Olago put some separation between the two sides, 76-73, with two clutch free throws, 36.9 seconds to go. UV pulled within two after a split from the line by guard Jun Manzo and actually had a shot to tie or push ahead after USC forward Nico Magat flubbed a baseline jumper.
But John Abad failed to deliver, missing a floater against the defense of Olago. Warriors two guard Ian Tagapan then sealed the deal with two from the charity stripe with 4.4 ticks left.
Olago paced the Warriors with 16 points while Cesafi Mythical Five member Victor Rabat added an even dozen. Congolese Espoir Toyambe notched 10.
Akomo led UV with 22 markers while Arong pitched in 15 points. Abad wound up with just 10.
USC (78) - Olago 16, Rabat 12, Toyambi 10, Magat 9, Pepito 9, Igna 8, Tagapan 5, Lim 4, Malana 3, Adlawan 2
UV (74) - Akomo 22, Arong 15, Abad 10, Manzo 9, Octobre 7, Codilla 6, Perolino 2, Aguirre 2, Soliva 1
Quarterscores: 20-16; 40-41; 64-54; 78-74