The reigning Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. ( Cesafi ) champions, Southwestern University Cobras yesterday scored just seven points in the fourth quarter and suffered a bitter, 56- 64 loss to the San Beda Red Lions in their battle for third place in the 2012 Philippine Collegiate Champions League ( PCCL) at the Arena in San Juan City.
Meanwhile, the University of Sto. Tomas beat reigning UAAP champions Ateneo de Manila University, 82- 76 to grab a 1- 0 lead in their best- of three championship series.
The win allowed the Red Lions to finish third for the second year in a row after beating another Cebu- based team, the University of Cebu Webmasters last year. San Beda did it with equal parts defense and SWU’s own ineptitude as the Cobras fell into a maze of errors and bad shots after heading to the payoff period tied at 49- all following a halfcourt buzzer- beater by guard, Junrey Ortuyo.
The Red Lions dominated in crunchtime as Davaoeno, Baser “The Hammer” Ame r conspired with Kyle Pascual for killer baskets in an 8- 2 run that gave them their biggest lead of the game at 64- 53, with under two minutes remaining. The Cobras canned just three field goals in the entire fourth period, the last one off a meaningless threepointer from Bon Guillena with 22 seconds remaining in the ballgame.
“This whole tournament was a great learning experience for the team,” said SWU’s fiery and multi-titled head coach, Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba.
Reserve forward, Art dela Cruz, led the team with 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists while SWU was paced by Cameroonian, Ben Mbala, who had a relatively quiet outing with 16 points after exploding for 41 in his last outing .
For a while, it seemed as if the Cobras would finish third as they led, 41- 35, in the third canto after a 15- 7 run anchored on guards, Joseph Nalos and Monbert Arong. But San Beda recovered and countered with a, 10- 0 blast, behind dela Cruz’s six points that put them back into the driver’s seat before Ortuyo’s incredible hailmary of a shot tied the count at the end of that stretch.