THE SBP squad of the University of the Visayas brought home the bacon, topping the Visayas Regionals crown with a thrilling 47-46 win over the University of St. La Salle-Bacolod in the finals on Sunday at the Capiz Gymnasium in Roxas City.
The wards of head coach Jaymar Canoy had to fend off a determined USLS squad that managed to tie the game at 39-all with less than four minutes remaining in the championship contest.
But Franco Gabunada was up to the challenge as he sank a deuce with 2:33 left that shattered the deadlock. Consecutive baskets by Mike Monton and Gabunada put them up, 45-39, with 1:06 to go but USLS closed to within two after Emmanuel Ortiz sank a bucket with 45 ticks left. UV’s Sean Salarza then gave UV a four-point cushion with a clutch basket with 26 seconds remaining.
A triple by Ortiz pulled USLS to within one, 46-47, with 20 seconds left but the Bacolod-based dribblers ran out of time trying to intentionally foul to get into the penalty situation.
Monton led the way for UV with 20 points while Gabunada finished with eight.
UV’s Passerelle squad wasn’t as fortunate as they fell to Bacolod Tay Tung High School, 52-56.
UV had a clear shot at bringing home a double-crown as they tied the match at 49-all with exactly two minutes remaining in the hotly-contested game. But Fritz Valencia and Andy Villamer gave Tay Tung back the lead, 54-49, after a bucket and an and-one play.
UV cut the deficit to two, 52-54, but Tay Tung’s Joseph Palaganas put the game and the title out of reach with a pull-up jumper that hit nothing but the bottom of the net with just 17 ticks left.
The national finals will be on December 3 and 4.