THE Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras remained undefeated in the second round as they thwarted the Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats, 74-53, in the 2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Cebu Coliseum on Saturday, October 12, 2019.
Eager to avenge their 67-62 loss at the hands of the Wildcats in the first round, the Cobras played disciplined basketball from the get-go, and raced off to a 21-5 lead after the first canto. They then extended it to 37-19 after a Ram Alforque triple right before the second canto buzzer.
CIT-U tried to rally and even pulled to within 12, 41-53, after consecutive baskets by forward Jesse Aloro Jr. However, SWU-Phinma responded with a 14 -2 run sparked by baskets made by Senegalese wingman Lamine Thiam and veterans Shaquille Imperial and Red Cachuela to boost their lead to 24, 67-43, and put the game away.
The victory lifted the Cobras’ record to 6-2 to solidify their hold of second place in the standings right behind the three-time defending champions University of the Visayas, which holds a 6-1 card.
Thiam had his usual stat-sheet-stuffing game with 17 points, 18 rebounds, an assist, four steals and two blocked shots. Cagayan de Oro-native Red Cachuela helped hold down the fort with a near double-double of 11 points and eight rebounds while reserve guard Kent Sanchez gave the team a solid boost from the bench with 12 markers.
Aloro led CIT-U, which dropped further down to the bottom of the standings at 1-6, with 17 points while Jemcerson Sable had 15.(SunStar Cebu)