MANILA, Philippines—Southwestern University held off Lyceum, 74-64, Wednesday for its first win in the FilOil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at the Arena in San Juan.
The Cobras have lost their first four games, three of which against high quality UAAP teams in University of the East, Ateneo and De La Salle University, this time though, the opportunity to win came against the debuting Pirates and they seized it.
“Crucial was we’re able to break their trap which has been our problem for the last four games except for La Salle because La Salle did not trap. Ateneo, UE, San Sebastian they trapped buti naman na-solve namin today because Lyceum is a small team and I know that they will keep on trapping,” said SWU head coach Mike Reyes.
SWU found a way to break the trap but not until Lyceum cut a 12-point deficit to just one, 50-51, on a basket by Shane Ko early in the fourth quarter.
Actually, the Pirates were presented with great chances to grab the lead but they just couldn’t capitalize after missing seven free throws that would’ve put them ahead.
Overall, Lyceum shot just 59% from the free throw line while SWU shot even worse at 56% on 22-of-39 shooting at the line.
Melvin Holper, younger brother of former Barangay Ginebra forward Mike, led the Cobras with 13 points on three-of-six shooting from long range while Cameroonian Landry Sanjo added 11 points and 15 rebounds.
“It was all a lot bigger than I thought,” described Holper of how it’s like to play here in Manila. “With all the drums and everything, it’s hard to adjust I can even hear the plays called.”
“It is really important for our campaign in cesafi that we got this win. In cesafi maliliit yung teams so they all trap and maybe we’ve learned our lesson on how to break the trap. The trap was a big factor but our one on one defense helped us also late in the game,” added Reyes, whose team bounced back after absorbing a 73-84 setback to San Sebastian last Monday.