CEBU CITY - The University of Cebu Webmasters showed the stuff champions are made of as they edged out Southwestern University Cobras, 64-61, in a tightly fought game of the 12th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament on Friday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Brian Heruela, the `Lone Star’ guard of the Webmasters, scored the go-ahead free throws in the final 5.8 seconds that gave the team the lead for good.
The brawny Fil-American guard from Texas finished with 22 points, five rebounds, and seven assists in leading the team to to its second win in three games.
The meeting was the first between the two rival teams since the Webmasters – anchored by 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo – beat out the Cobras in the Finals last year. And as expected, a playoff atmosphere was in the air.
The Cobras battled back from an early 11-point deficit and held on to the lead for the last time at 60-59 on an easy lay-up by Ben Mbala.
But a driving Heruela was fouled by Mbala with 5.8 seconds left, leading to two free throws that gave the Webmasters the lead for good.
Kido Cabrera finished with 13 points while Robinson Mohammad and Kim Gomez scored 12 and 11, respectively, for the Webmasters, who made 13 three-pointers overall.
The Cobras, the pre-tournament favorites to win this year, fell to 1-2.
Mbala scored 26 points to go with 11 rebounds, three steals and four blocks to lead the team, which also got 14 markers from Jestoni Casquejo.
Southwestern missed two of their wingmen in Bon Guillena and Monbert Around due to injuries.