CEBU CITY – University of Southern Philippines Foundation pulled off a historic upset, thwarting reigning champion University of the Visayas, 81-80, in the 2018 Cesafi basketball tournament on Thursday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
The win was the very first by the Panthers over the Lancers in the league’s 18-year history. It was dedicated by head coach Brian Jereza to forward Edward Villarta, who had just come off of surgery for a fractured orbital bone that he suffered in their previous game against Southwestern University.
“That was for Edwin. In fact, we’ll be heading to the hospital to visit him,” said Jereza, USPF’s rookie head coach.
RR Cauba scored on an undergoal stab with 13.1 seconds left after UV big man Bassiere Sackour was called for a goaltending violation, giving USPF the lead after trailing, 75-78, with 2:25 remaining.
The 6-foot-2 wingman scored the last six points for the Panthers.
The Green Lancers had a shot at stealing the win but Rey Suerte’s jumper from the baseline was off as time expired, and UV absorbed its second straight defeat.
Richy Managor led USPF with 23 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks, while Cauba had 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Suerte and rookie guard Jafet Claridad led UV with 17 points each.