CEBU CITY – The University of the Visayas Green Lancers added another championship to their trophy case after ruling the 2nd Cabanero Cup Inter-Collegiate Basketball Tournament with a 97-88 win over the Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats in the finals on Sunday night.
Motivated to make up for the championship loss suffered by their high school counterparts earlier in the day, the Green Lancers ran and scored in the transition every chance they had on the way to opening a 20-point lead, 57-37, at the Bulacao Sports Complex.
However, they had to buckle down late and lean on the clutch plays of reigning Cesafi MVP Rey Suerte to fend off a spirited comeback by the Wildcats, who rallied behind Joshua dela Cerna's 48-point explosion.
The victory netted UV the crown and the P50,000 cash prize that came with it, a year after losing to the University of San Jose-Recoletos in the finals.
Suerte finished with 20 points, seven of them coming in a 13-2 run late in the fourth which brought the Green Lancers’ lead back to 17, 95-78, after it got trimmed down to six.
The Compostela Valley-native was eventually named tournament MVP.
Speedy guard Sheldon Gahi, tasked to inherit the chief point guard duties with the departure of veteran Alfred Codilla, had 14 markers while skipper Josue Segumpan added 12.
UV opened the second half with five straight points to open up a 20-point cushion at 57-37 and still led by 17, 79-62, after a buzzer-beating triple from the corner by forward Jerome Napao.
Kenneth Ariar, Jemcerson Sable and John Lucena had 10 apiece for the Wildcats.