TALLO LEADS SWU
Two-time Cesafi MVP steers Cobras to perfect 6-0 record
Angered by a hard foul late in the third, two-time league MVP Mark Jayven Tallo made sure to make the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers pay as he hit one dagger shot after another to lift the Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras past their bitter rivals, 65-57, in the 16th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament last night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Felled by a foul by UV’s Jerome Napao on a drive, Tallo stood up clutching his wrist. But that sure did not bother him in crunchtime as he rescued the Cobras from a 54-57 deficit with less than four minutes remaining in the game.
After fellow guard John Lloyd Luz pulled the Cobras to within one with a pull-up jumper, Tallo followed with a transition basket over the outstretched arms of UV wingman Rey Suerte to give SWU the lead, 58-57. The Cobras kept the pressure up and on their next possession, Tallo drove hard into the teeth of UV’s defense and got two more after UV forward Bassiere Sackour was called for a goaltending violation.
The coup de grace happened on the very play for SWU as Tallo squared his defender Josue Segumpan up, dribbled right before stopping on a dime and pulling up to hit a long three-pointer that gave the Cobras a 63-57 lead, to virtually seal the victory.
Tallo finished with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and the same number of steals while rookie guard Shaquille Imperial had 13 markers, three assists and four steals. Mac Racho also sizzled early in the game and tallied 11.
The win gave SWU sole possession of the lead in the standings at the end of the first round with a perfect 6-0 (win-loss) card.
UV, which got 12 points and 11 rebounds from Sackour, fell to 5-1.
The Green Lancers suffered from the measly six-point outing of star wingman Suerte, who shot 2 of 11 from the field.
In the juniors division, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Baby Panthers grabbed their first win of the season with a 67-66 squeaker over the SWU Baby Cobras.
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