UC Webmasters upset UV Green Lancers to take Game 1 of CESAFI college title series
CEBU CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – The University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters stunned the entire New Cebu Coliseum by upsetting the defending champions University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers, 85-77, to take Game 1 of their Best-of-3 collegiate title series in the CESAFI basketball tournament, Wednesday, October 11.
Never having won against the Green Lancers during the double round elimination, the Webmasters did not only end the 12-game streak of the defending champions but they also never allowed them to taste the lead in the entire ballgame.
The Webmasters transformation from an average team to a title contender by their new head coach Raul "Yayoy" Alcoseba is never more felt this season than in their Game 1 victory.
"Oo because in the first place, when I have a team and I am the coach, I would expect that we would win but it is easier said than done, sayon ra isulti nga gusto ta mudaug (It is easy to say that we want to win) but we have to do it, and we have to do it right.
And, I was telling my players that if you want us to win, you have to have faith in yourself, believe in yourself that we can win. So, how can we do that, first we have to believe in ourselves, we don't think about UV, just believe in ourselves and believe in the team, we can win," said Alcoseba, when asked if he had expected the Webmasters to win Game 1.
One of the keys in the Webmasters win was the shuffling of their lineup wherein some of their players were given a longer gametime than the regulars that Alcoseba usually field in a ballgame. Although the play was still centered on their Cameroonian import Frederick Ngoh Elombi who almost had a near perfect shooting accuracy except from the free throw line.
Elombi led the Webmasters with another double-double performance sinking 23 points and pulling 12 boards. He also had 5 assists and blocked 3 attempts from the Green Lancers.
According to Alcoseba, it was really their gameplan to change players because he cannot use the same considering that they are matched up against the Green Lancers.
The plan worked with Michael Jay Gonzaga and Ruben Ludovice getting to stay inside the court longer than they usually do and contributing much in their victory.
John Calvin Jabello was also a big help with his 16 points and 5 assists while also chipping in 14 points and 6 rebounds was Joven Tagudin.
Also a big help in the paint was Justine Dacalos who managed 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals despite only finishing with 9 points.
The Green Lancers, on the other hand, were topscored by MVP honors contender Jerome Napao whose relentless performance under the goal awarded him with a double-double – 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Last season's MVP, Rey Anthony Suerte, chipped in 12 points while Jayson Balabag also added 11 points and 6 rebounds. They weren't however enough to hand UV the Game 1.
After the two deadlocks early in the first quarter, the Webmasters went relentless and piled up on their lead by as much as 16 points, 37-21, the highest in the ballgame.
The Green Lancers couldn't catch a break and had to trail the Webmasters by 12 points, 33-45, at the halftime break.
However, the defending champions were not to be outdone easily as they slowly came back in the third quarter and eventually trailed by only 3 baskets and a half, 54-61, going into the final canto.
The Webmasters tried to open a gap at the start of the final quarter but couldn't just pull away as the Green Lancers came as close as just a point behind, 65-66, on a basket by Josue Segumpan with 5 minutes remaining in the ballgame.
However, Elombi managed to keep UC at the front. He then combined with Jabello, Garciano "Garexx" Puerto and Dacalos to once again give the Webmasters a 10-point lead, 81-71, with 49 seconds left in the ballgame.
Tristan Ray Albina and Segumpan attempted treys in an effort for UV to stay in the ballgame but their efforts went to naught.
Tagudin sealed the Webmasters massive Game 1 victory with a trey.
"I am happy but the bottomline is we need to be the champion," said Alcoseba of the Webmasters transformation to a title contender team.
"We are peaking at the right time, playing the right way, my players, I imposed in them the character to win, the culture to win," said Alcoseba.
Game 2 will be this Friday, October 13.
UC Webmasters (85) - Elombi 23, Jabello 16, Tagudin 14, Dacalos 9, Ludovice 8, Puerto 8, Gonzaga 5, Codilla 2.
UV Green Lancers (77) - Napao 16, Suerte 12, Balabag 11, Albina 10, Gahi 8, Sackor 8, Soliva 8, Segumpan 4.