The downpour outside the New Cebu Coliseum was equally matched with this season’s contenders Southwestern University (SWU) PHINMA Cobras raining down 12 three-pointers stinging their way to victory against the defending champions ARQ–University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers, 91–73, in game 1 of the Cesafi Partner’s Cup Finals, August 2, 2019.
The men in maroon broke down the tight defense of the green machine as they erected an immense 32–12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The steady Cobras were at ease wrapping up the first half with a 14-point advantage, 50–36.
The start of the third saw the contenders blasting a 19–2 run giving them their biggest lead in the game at 29 points, 69–40, in what was a quarter full of three-pointers for SWU PHINMA.
However, the Green Lancers were able to pressure the Cobras with inside-the-box scoring for a 15–3 run of their own, decreasing the deficit to just 17 points by the end of the third canto, 55–72.
Final quarter witnessed the change of momentum as UV pressured the early period lowering the deficit to nearly 13, but the game took a different course, thanks to a two-handed dunk from Lamine Thiam, SWU PHINMA’s prolific student-athlete from Senegal.
With the Cobras’ high-paced offense against the Green Lancers’ high passing, the game went on to the last minute until the final score of 91–73 in favor of the men in maroon.
Shaquille Imperial paced the Cobras with 21 points while William Polican chipped in 19 markers. Dyll Roncal added 14 while Thiam and Red Cachuela managed to put up 10.
Jancork Cabahug was UV’s lone bright spot being the only player to hit double figures with 13.
The win means that the Cobras are one step closer to being hailed champions of the Cesafi Partner’s Cup.
Game 2 will see action at the same venue on Sunday, August 4, 2019. Jump ball is slated at 7:00 p.m.