UNIVERSITY of the Visayas survived a late fightback by Cebu Institute of Technology, 91-83, on Thursday in Game One of the best-of-three finals series of the 2013 Enervon-Cesafi Partner’s Cup at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Lancers have a chance to wrap up the series and claim a second straight championship on Sunday in Game Two at the same venue.
The Wildcats battled back from as many as 20 points, cutting the deficit to six, 83-89, with 20.4 seconds remaining.
But UV held off CIT, with high-leaping import Steve Akomo scored on a slam dunk on the next possession.
Perolino and guard John Abad had 19 each to lead the Lancers, while Escosio and Akomo had 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
CIT got 25 from Floyd Taboada, 21 from Allen Dimco, 18 from Joshua dela Cerna and 15 from Vincent Menguito, but got very little else from the rest of the squad.
The Lancers held a 40-33 lead at halftime end kept pushing in the third led by forward Chris Perolino, who at one point scored eight straight to put them up 53-33.
UV kept on pounding the ball inside to maintain a 19-point bulge, 73-54, heading to the final canto.