MANILA, Philippines — When Southwestern University came to Manila, the Cobras knew the road to the quarterfinals meant having to beat one of last season’s UAAP finalists.
Though it failed to advance, atleast the Cebu champions toppled down one powerhouse — ending its elimination round by stunning University of Santo Tomas, 64-63, in the 2013 Filoil Flying Hanes Premier Cup Saturday.
Staying close enough all game, SWU struck hard in the last hree minutes before a huge triple from Melvin Holper, and a split freethrow from Monbert Arong gave the Cobras a 63-59 edge.
Kevin Ferrer pulled the Tigers to within a point, 62-63, on a three-pointer but couldn’t repeat when UST needed a game-winner as time ran out.
The Cobras concluded their stint in Manila with a 3-5 card in the eliminations, picking up the pace in the tournament, as they fly back home to Cebu on Sunday.
“I credit that win to the good defense that we played. We were able to defend 1-on-1, we did well. In the end, we hit crucial shots,” said coach Mike Reyes.
“Of course, we joined here we want to get to the quarterfinals. We have to beat the powerhouse teams like UST or Ateneo. At least we got one,” added Reyes.
Arong led with 16 points, while Cameroonian Landry Sanjo had 11 and 14 rebounds. Holper and Mohammed added 10 and nine, respectively.
While the Cobras managed to showcase what made them champions in Cesafi, the Tigers did not look like the menacing squad which went on to the finals last year.
Ferrer and Abul each chipped in 12 points for UST, which dropped to 1-2 in the tournament. Jeric Teng had 10 while Aljon Mariano who started out strong could only finish with nine points.
UST shot horribly from downtown, just 4-of-27, with Teng missing eight, and Bautista and Ferrer four each.