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Green Archers start PCCL Elite 8 round with win versus Cobras

Gab Victorino (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

La Salle repeated its dominance over SWU in an early finals rematch to start the Elite 8 semifinals of the PCCL at the Cebu City Coliseum.

The defending national champions Green Archers bucked a slow first quarter to build a 38-29 advantage in the third quarter of a tight, physical contest that even saw the emotions getting to the game.

The fans of the recently-crowned CESAFI champions Cobras showed their dismay to the referees for what they thought was bad officiating by hurling foreign objects on the floor.

The officials finally restrained the crowd from further throwing objects and play resumed.

The Cobras then crawled back to cut the lead to just one, 45-44, after three quarters.

But La Salle opened the fourth period with five unanswered points to extend the gap to six, 50-44.

SWU stayed in the game and trimmed the edge anew to two, 55-53, off a Jasper Parker three.

The Cobras had a chance to tie the game after the Green Archers failed to score in the next play.

But SWU missed some shots and Mark Tallo only made one of two free throws after a Robert Bolick foul to come to within one, 54-55, with 1:03 left.

Prince Rivero then scored on the other end to extend La Salle's lead to three, 57-54, with 32.9 seconds left.

Rivero, however, missed the bonus free throw after a foul, giving the Cobras another chance to tie the game.

Ben Mbala, however, spoiled the lots of his former team as he stole the ball and gave the ball to Bolick, who sank the game-sealing free throws after a Tallo foul.

Tallo airballed a hurried three-pointer before time expired.