Saturday, 4 May 2013 16 Comments
They won’t be going to the Final Four of the preseason. But Southwestern University will be going home to Cebu with a nice little chip on their shoulders.
The Cobras quickly displayed what lessons they learned from playing against Manila-based teams by pulling off an upset win, 64-63, against current Philippine Collegiate Champions League title holders UST Growling Tigers in the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, Saturday at the Arena in San Juan.
The Cebu-based cagers successfully kept up with the Tigers–who had Coach Pido Jarencio finally present to steer the team–as they never allowed UST to pull too far away from them.
They ended their first quarter down only 12-13. They didn’t stray too far as well in the second period, down only 23-27 by intermission.
The Cobras immediately went to work at the onset of the second half, going on a 7-0 spurt–capped by a trey by Melvin Holper who had 10 markers–to put themselves ahead of UST 32-27.
Guard Monbert Arong clocked in a game high 16 points on 57% field goal shooting and an 83% free throw percentage to go with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals.
UST, however, did not stop pestering the Cobras until they tied it all up once more at 38 all off of 2 charities by Jeric Teng with 4:02 remaining in the third.
However, the lead would once more swing to SWU by the end of the third, 47-45.
At the 5:16 mark of the payoff period, momentum momentarily swung to the side of the Tigers courtesy of a three-point play from Kim Lo who chipped in 7 points, including a perfect 5 of 5 from the stripe.
Both teams then exchanged baskets, resulting in alternating leads.
A bucket by Holper knotted it up for the last time, 59 all, with 2:06 left. He then followed that up with a go-ahead trey for the dagger.
But UST had no intentions of allowing the Cobras a happy farewell just yet.
Kevin Ferrer–who topscored for the Tigers with 12 points–set up the ultimate test of character for the reigning CESAFI champions down the stretch as he swished a trey to come to within one, 62-63.
The Cobras passed the test.
Adam Mohammed, who chipped in 9 points for the Cobras, split his charities in the ensuing play. Teng had a chance to tie the game and possibly set up an overtime but he too went 1 of 2 from the line with 10 seconds left.
At this time, Arong had fallen to the floor and was unable to stand. He was carried out of the court on a stretcher. Assistant Coach Mike Reyes said it looked like he cramped up badly and was hit by someone’s knee.
Coach Mike temporarily took over the coaching reigns for SWU in light of Head Coach Yayoy Alcoseba recently announcing his resignation to focus on his political career.
The Cobras’ defense held up, however, as a three-point attempt by Ferrer failed to hit its mark as time expired.
Slotman Landry Sanjo went all across the board as he contributed 11 points and grabbed 14 boards along with 3 dimes, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
“We talked among ourselves, the players, that we (will) give our best. So we came out with the win,” remarked a clearly elated Sanjo.
Coach Mike’s game plan against UST worked exactly like how they hoped it would. According to him, if Clark Bautista was not playing the point, they would free up some help defense against the other strong guards of UST.
The Tigers and Cobras were so evenly matched in this game that there were 11 deadlocks and 10 lead changes.
Coach Mike, who admits that Manila-based teams are much stronger and much more physical than those in the provinces, credits all that to his team’s defense.
“This will help us a lot in our CESAFI campaign because we had tremendous improvements in defense and on communication,” he said.
The Cobras, who are set to return home on Sunday morning, finished the eliminations with a 3-5 record. The Tigers dropped to 1-2.
SWU (64): Arong 16, Sanjo 11, Holper 10, Mohammed 9, Bregondo 7, Panerio 4, Bautista 2, Siewe 2, Goloran 2, Otida 1, Escobio 0, Ortega 0, Pajantoy 0
UST (63): Ferrer 12, Abdul 12, Teng 10, Mariano 9, Lo 7, Bautista 5, Pe 4, Daquioag 4, Hainga 0, Marata 0, Tan 0
Quarter scores: 12-13, 23-27, 45-47, 64-63