CEBU–University of the Visayas booked the first ticket to the finals after clawing past Southwestern University 84-76 in the semis of the 12th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Lancers makes a return to the finals after falling to the Cobras in the semis last year.
SWU faces reigning champion University of Cebu on Sunday for the other finals berth.
UC kept its title-retention bid alive with a 72-64 win over the University of San Jose-Recoletos in the single round-robin semifinals, with Brian Heruela scoring 25 points and Kim Gomez 21.
SWU trailed by as many as 18 points, 26-44, but made its way back in the second half. The Cobras took the lead, 65-63, after a booming trey from Monbert Arong, with 5:43 left.
The Cobras made it 72-69 after a putback by Bernie Bregondo and threatened to break away.
But Jerome Silva tied the game at 72-all with his third three-point shot of the period and UV ended the game on a 15-2 run.
Silva finished with 24 points, including 15 in the fourth while John Abad and Eman Calo had 13 and 11, respectively. Ben Mbala paced SWU with 17 while Arong, who exploded for 38 in their last game, was held to 15 markers.