BAYUGAN CITY – The University of the Visayas Green Lancers nipped the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, 90-89, to rule the Kim Lope Asis Mayor’s Cup Basketball Invitational 2017 at the Lope Asis Memorial Gymnasium on Thursday night.
The Green Lancers continued their build-up for their Cesafi title defense in rousing fashion as they overhauled an 11-point deficit in the fourth and leaned on the clutch shotmaking of Liberian forward Bassiere Sackour and reigning Cesafi MVP Rey Suerte to pull off the thrilling win before a packed crowd in the city located north of Agusan del Sur.
The victory netted UV the whopping cash prize of P200,000. UST settled for the runner-up prize of P150,000.
Jerome Napao led the Green Lancers with 16 points while Sackour finished with 14. The point guard combo of Gileant Delator and Sheldon Gahi pitched in 10 apiece.
The Tigers led by 11, 83-72, at the onset of the fourth but suddenly let their guard down, enabling the Green Lancers to grab the upper hand, 88-87, after two pressure-packed free-throws from Sackour with 1:51 to go.
After a miss by UST’s Jan Macasaet, Suerte raced downcourt and scored on a floater to raise UV’s lead to 90-87 with 1:03 remaining.
UST had several shots to tie or even win the game after former University of the East Red Warrior Jordan Sta. Ana scored while getting fouled. However, Sta. Ana missed the bonus shot but the Tigers still retained possession after Suerte tapped the ball out of bounds with 12 ticks left.
Sta. Ana tried to save the day for UST but his shot rimmed out. Macasaet pulled down the offensive rebound but his putback also went in and out as time expired.
Sta. Ana led the Tigers with 18 points.
Third place honors was won by the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals after they thrashed Xavier University, 109-78. Francis Munsayac paced them with 24 markers.
UV (90) - Napao 16, Albina 14, Sackor 14, Delator 10, Gahi 10, Suerte 9, Botuhan 8, Balabag 4, Soliva 2.
UST (89) - Sta. Ana 18, Lee 13, Lorenzana 13, Macasaet 12, Akomo 10, Faundo 7, Caunan 4, Huang 3, Garcia 3, Soriano 3, Valin 3.
Quarterscores: 20-21, 41-44, 64-68, 90-89
FOR THIRD PLACE
EAC (109) - Munsayac 24, Guzman 16, Garcia 13, Onwubere 12, Bugarin 9, Tampoc 8, Diego 7, Mendoza 7, Mendoza 7, Gonzales 2, Neri 2.
XU (78) - Manatad 19, Piatti 15, Aquino 14, Labares 10, Jadap 6, Paquit 6, Gamos 4, Manosa 4, Tindoy 2.