CEBU CITY — The University of the Visayas Green Lancers are not letting their title reign end without a fight as they sent the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball finals to a deciding Game Three with a 73-59 win over Southwestern University in Game Two at the Cebu Coliseum on Thursday.
The winner-take-all Game Three will be played on Friday evening with UV looking to capture a fourth straight title while SWU-Phinma is seeking its first Cesafi crown since 2014.
UV took advantage on the foul trouble woes of SWU-Phinma’s prolific foreign student-athlete, Lamine Thiam, who picked up his fourth foul with 3:19 remaining.
That development was a crucial one as it happened when the Cobras were in the midst of a 14-4 run that cut UV’s 13-point lead down to one, 38-39. But with Thiam sitting on the bench, UV’s frontline quickly took advantage with Lass Coulibally and Monic Soliva puncturing SWU-Phinma’s interior defense to keep the Cobras at bay and bring a 49-40 lead to the final canto.
UV then turned to veteran forward Monic Soliva who scored six straight points on an array of fadeaway jumpers and one-handed bankshots that raised their lead to 58-41 with just five minutes remaining in the ballgame.
Lass Coulibally, UV’s big man from the Ivory Coast, feasted inside the shaded lane as he scored 13 points and hauled down 21 rebounds. He also anchored their team’s defense, piling up four blocks and two steals.
Soliva ended up with 12 while Jancork Cabahug added 11 markers.
Shaquille Imperial, who was adjudged as the league’s Most Valuable Player, led SWU-Phinma with 15 points.
SWU-Phinma’s Imperial and Thiam, UV’s Cabahug and Sheldon Gahi, and the University of Cebu’s Darrell Shane Menina were all named to the Mythical Five.