BAYUGAN City, Agusan del Sur – The University of Cebu Webmasters logged its first win following an emphatic 86-70 victory that kept the Cagayan de Oro City Selection winless in the Mayor Kim Lope A. Asis Mayor’s Cup Invitational Basketball tournament at the Lope Asis Memorial Gymnasium, Thursday, June 27, 2019 morning.
In contrast, the Southwestern University Cobras suffered back-to-back defeats that put their shot for the P200,000 champion’s prize in jeopardy.
The Cobras suffered an 87-72 defeat from the hands of the mightier Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Wednesday evening, June 26, and lost control of the game when the veterans of Valenzuela Classic took charge for a thrilling 87-85 decision Thursday afternoon.
The chances of the Cobras now lies in balance on the results of the remaining games especially, the game where they need to beat UC on Friday, June 28 at 7PM game.
FEU and Valenzuela both sport a 2-0 win-loss cards, UC holds 1-1 slate, SWU dropped to 1-2 and Cagayan de Oro is at the bottom with 0-3 record.
The Cobras had the game under control for 34 minutes an30 seconds as their guns found their targets early including four straight triples that put the CESAFI squad to a 12-4 lead at the 6:34 mark of the first quarter.
SWU’s precise sniping and active rotations on defense further allowed the Cobras to build a 53-36 lead at the close of the first half.
However, ex-pro Paolo Hubalde, who was fresh from leading the Valenzuela Team A come-from-behind 92-86 overtime win over the Bataan Riser at home Wednesday evening, went to work to erase the lead of the young Cebuano aspirants. Hubalde scored eight of a strong 18-5 run that closed down the gap to 54-58 with three minutes left in the third quarter.
The Cobras managed to keep their heads above water for the next seven minutes before the tide turned sides on Hubalde’s triple at the 6:26 mark of the final period.
But despite the huge game of Hubalde and the timely contributions of Carlos de Chavez, Joshua Alcover, Hans Thiele and Mel Mabigat, the Cobras managed to give the more experienced opponents a tough fight, as the triple of William Polican and Gerald Fernandez evened the game at 85-all with 1:14 remaining in the game.
However, SWU failed to score the rest of the way and Thiele scored on a putback in the final 18.09 seconds that proved to be the game-winning basket while Polican’s three-point attempt at the other end bounced strongly off the rim.
Hubalde scored 21 points to lead Valenzuela scorers, Alcober, de Chavez and Thiele contributed with 11 points each and Mabigat fired 10 as the Classic scored its second win following an 83-76 win over Cagayan de Oro Selection team on Wednesday.
Lamine Thiam, SWU’s do-it-all Senegalese student-athlete, scored the game-high 25 points, including a 14-point outburst in the second period that helped the Cobras built a 17-point lead. Shaquille Imperial who sank six triples added 21 points, and Red Cachuela finished with 12 points.
Meanwhile, the Webmasters will be playing without its starting guard Shane Menina when UC plays Valenzuela Classic on Friday morning.
Menina along with Maher Eduave of Cagayan de Oro was tossed out of the game after incurring two technical fouls each at the 9:01 mark of the final quarter of their game.
Seconds earlier, the two received their first technical fouls after Eduave gave Menina a leech-like defense. Although the CdeO cager was called for a foul, the two continued to engage in extra motions that warranted their first technical fouls. After the resumption of the game, they were again slapped with the same offense shortly after Eduave was again called for a foul. The tournament rules stated that an automatic one-game suspension will be imposed on a player(s) who will be thrown out of the game.
Mohammed Tosh Sesay scored the game-high 25 points, Luigi Gabisan and Tristan Albina each had 14 points and Rodel Gravera finished with 10 points for UC’s first win in two games./RCM