UV outlasts SWU in Game 4 to force winner-take-all Game 5
By Jonas Panerio
Cebu Daily News
7:24 am | Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
In less than a week, the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers have turned themselves from meek prey to confident predators.
They completed the transformation yesterday when they upended the defending champions Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras, 71-66, in Game Four of the Cesafi men’s basketball Finals at the packed-to-the-rafters Cebu Coliseum.
With the win, this best-of-five finals series is now tied at 2-2.
Widely considered to be down and out of it after losing the first two games by double-digits, the Lancers proved all the doubters wrong as they cut the Cobras down to size with their transition offense and perimeter shooting in the first half to build a sizable advantage.
They needed every bit of that cushion as they withstood a furious comeback by SWU to seize the victory and send this war of attrition to its final battle – Game Five scheduled tomorrow at the same venue.
UV is now on the brink of both history and redemption as no team has ever come back from a 0-2 deficit in the finals to win the title.
A win in Game Five would also gain UV sweet vengeance for the title loss that it suffered at the hands of these very same Cobras last season.
Mythical Five guard John Abad provided the spunk and leadership for UV as he came up with a masterful performance, finishing with 24 points, eight assists, five rebounds and five steals.
The 5-foot-7 guard pitched in 15 points in the first half that helped put UV in front, 43-29.
Wowie Escosio added 14 points while Franz Arong, back from his one-game suspension, chipped in 11 markers.
UV head coach Felix Belano said he motivated his troops by sharing with them the biblical story of Daniel, the man who came away unscathed in the presence of lions.
“We really want to fight until the end and play like there’s no tomorrow,” Belano said. “I can see that the focus is really there for my players, which is how we made all those free-throws and outside shots. But still, we want to remain humble and come out fighting in Game Five.”
The league’s newly-crowned MVP Mark Jayven Tallo scored a game-high 28 points for SWU, which came to within five, 64-69, in the last 1:37 of the fourth after trailing by as many as 18 in the third.
SWU had several chances to come even closer but UV made its free throws down the stretch to preserve the important win.
THE Southwestern University Cobras will make their second straight appearance in the Final Four after beating bitter rivals University of the Visayas Green Lancers, 68-60, in the step-ladder Sweet 16 tournament of the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) last night at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Cobras banked on a 25-point lead in the second quarter to survive the end-game challenge of the Lancers, who played without head coach Felix “Donbel” Belano Jr. in the final quarter.
Belano was thrown out of the game, after he boldly contested an unsportsmanlike foul called on guard Francisco Arong.
The referees did not like Belano’s actions and decided to send him out of the playing venue with still with 1:13 left in the third period.
That was the only time Belano contested the referees call, despite his team trailing as much as 34-9 in the second period.
Belano, however, was frustrated the way the Lancers played the game in the opening half, allowing SWU to score 10 straight points before scoring their first two points.
However, nothing seemed to work for the Cesafi champions in the entire first half while SWU played flawlessly, holding UV to just seven points in the entire first quarter and holding them scoreless in the first seven minutes of the second.
And while SWU was playing like well-oiled machine, UV struggled and often resorted to a few unsportsmanlike fouls.
John Abad was slapped first at the 5:02 mark of the second when he tripped the airborne Mark Jayven Tallo, then team skipper Cris Perolino was slapped for rough-housing Monbert Arong three minutes and 30 seconds later.
UV found life in the second half and moved within 15 points, 32-47 before they missed five of six free throws that could have changed the complexion of the game.
The ejection of Belano and the unsportsmanlike foul on Arong was a breather for SWU.
UV then started the fourth period with seven straight points to cut the lead to seven, 42-59 at the 7:41 mark, but another unsportsmanlike foul was called against the Lancers.
UV Green Lancers: Mpouma's presence alone scares enemies
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By Rommel C. Manlosa
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
THE University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers hope their new Cameroonian recruit Jean-marie Mpouma can fill huge gaps left by their erstwhile import Mike Nzeusseu in the new basketball season.
This early, UV management, coaching staff and supporters are putting huge responsibilities on the shoulders of Mpouma.
Nzeusseu went Awol after the Green Lancers defeated their arch-nemesis Southwestern University Cobras in the Cesafi finals.
However, UV assistant coach Van Halen Parmis is confident Mpouma will become a dominant force in the middle mainly because of his height.
“Jean-marie is 6’11” with a very long wingspan. His presence alone in the shaded lane can already intimidate opponents. However, he is not just all height, he will be a dominant force in the center and he has a good perimeter shooting touch. He’s got some moves like that of (NBA Legend) Hakeem Olajuwon,” Parmis said.
No second thoughts
UV head coach Felix “Donbel” Belano Jr. said he has no second thought about having Mpouma in the Green Lancers fold because he believed that the 18-year-old beanpole from Metz, France can help the team defend its title.
In fact, Mpouma received his Lancers’ jersey shortly after the team won the Cesafi title last October.
Parmis, however, admitted that Mpouma still has to improve some aspects of his game that include his footwork, agility and maturity.
“Experience, footwork and agility. Although he had vastly improved since he arrived last September, kuwang lang gyud niya kay experience,” Parmis continued.
Mpouma will be playing back-up to Steve Cedrick Akomo in trying to keep the title not only from its closest challenger, SWU, but against the emerging powers of the University of San Carlos Warriors and the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars.
After losing the ticket to the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Round Robin Final Four to the Cobras last November, UV held its first practice last Monday in its effort to regroup and strenghten its line-up.