Freeman Cebu Sports

Third time lucky for UV

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - After three attempts, the University of the Visayas Green Lancers finally got one over their bitter rivals Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras.

And they did it in style.

Held off to a paltry three points in the second period leading a season-low 17 points at halftime, the Lancers whipped up a furious offensive storm in the third period, then went strong in the windup to hand the Cobras their first loss, 65-53, in the 16th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. men's basketball tournament last night at the Cebu Coliseum.

Veteran sentinel Alfred Codilla came up with his best performance yet in green and white jersey with 20 points, while unpredictable forward Jan Monic Soliva also dished out his A-game with 12 points, all in the final half including seven during a 10-0 run that gave the Lancers a 48-39 lead at the final 8:37 mark, for good.

It was indeed a big turnaround for the Lancers, whose second-quarter struggles saw them down by 10 at the bend, 17-27.

The Lancers, whose comeback started with a 10-0 blitz at the kicking off the third period, had their biggest advantage at 11 points, 46-45, with only 3:55 left to play.

The Cobras threatened for the last time at 53-58 as Jerome Napao scored a basket then Codilla went 4-of-4 from the stripe in the final 17 seconds to secure UV's breakthrough win.

Though holding a 2-0 slate, the Lancers still need to beat the defending champions University of San Carlos Warriors this Thursday to book a final ticket without any glitch.

The Warriors stayed alive after recovering from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to eliminate the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars, 81-70.

In the juniors division, the UV Baby Lancers knocked on finals door after toppling down the gritty University of Cebu Junior Webmasters, 54-49, while the three-time defending champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles stayed in contention after decimating he Cebu Eastern College Dragons, 64-37.

Biern Laurente showed the way with 16 points for the Baby Lancers, who squandered an early 39-29 lead but recovered just in time to foil what could have been an outright finals entry for the Junior Webmasters.

The UC side was on top for the last time at 49-48 on two free throws by Gelmart Umpad with 4:58 left to play. Ironically, that turned out to be their last points of the game.

Laurente, Ivan Maata and Jancork Cabahug then delivered a closing 6-0 run to seal the deal for the Baby Lancers.

 Like their older counterparts, the Baby Lancers aren't ensured yet of a championship berth despite having a 2-0 record. This as they still need to beat the Magis Eagles in their last semis assignment this Tuesday to advance without any complications. (FREEMAN)

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