Freeman Cebu Sports

Worthy/UV overcomes Highlands/UC to go 7-0

Joy Cantos, Ellen Fernando - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Diminutive but spunky playmaker Sheldon Gahi charted 20 points to lead five players in double figures as the Worthy/University of the Visayas Green Lancers opened their semifinal campaign with pulsating 86-79 win over the gritty Highlands Corned Beef/University of Cebu Webmasters in the 8th Cebu Schools Athletics Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) Partner's Cup last night at the Cebu Coliseum.

Gahi capped his game-long brilliance with six straight points in the crucial stretch that keyed the Lancers' win, their seven straight is as many starts.

The Lancers lost an early 35-28 lead as the Webmasters, banking on the hot hands of Justine Dacalos, fought back with finesse take a 38-35 edge on a 10-blitz, 56 seconds into halftime. Dacalos went on to pace the UC side with 27 points followed by John Calvin Jabello with 16 markers.

The Lancers quickly regained a seven-point advantage, 45-38, but the Webmasters launched another sizzling counter-attack to move ahead by eight, 60-52, with 1:16 left in the third quarter.

With the Webmasters still up by seven, 61-54, the Lancers greeted the final quarter with an 11-2 run to seize back the upperhand, 65-63. The Webmasters were on top for the last time at 68-67 as the Lancers leaped to a 70-68 lead for good with still 4:33 left to play.

After knotting the count twice, the Webmasters threatened for one last time at 74-76 as Gahi played the fireman's role with six points in a row that settled things for the Lancers, 82-76, with only 30 seconds to go.

After going 13-of-25 from the foul line earlier, the Lancers shot a perfect 8-of-8 from the stripe at the final 3:24 mark that also spelled the difference.

Underscoring their balanced attack, Rey Suerte finished with 16 points, Josue Segumpan had 15, while Basero Sackor and Jerome Napao connived for 26 points as the Lancers moved one win away from securing a finals berth. (FREEMAN)



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