UV Green Lancers clinch 2017 CESAFI title with Game 3 win over UC
CEBU CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) - The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers clinched their 12th CESAFI collegiate title by winning the best-of-3 finals series, 2-1, against the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters Sunday, October 15 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
The Green Lancers denied the Webmasters what would have been their third title in the league by winning Game 3, 69-56, to repeat as champions.
The win also allowed UV to win their 6th double title in the league with their junior team, the UV Baby Lancers, sweeping the defending champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles for the 2017 junior title last October 12.
UC Webmasters Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba conceded the title with still about 20 seconds to go as he approached to shake the hand of UV Green Lancers head coach Gary Cortes before the endgame buzzer went off.
“This title is more meaningful for me because daghan mig naagihan karon na struggles this season, although nakuha namo ang 12th title, of course aside from winning naa poy mga factor na dapat namo e-adjust as a team,” said Cortes who became very emotional, shedding tears while the rest of the UV bench were celebrating.
(This title is more meaningful for me because we went through so many struggles this season, although we bagged the 12th title, of course aside from winning, there are some factors that we need to adjust as a team.)
Cortes added that he became very emotional after the win because of what the team has shown in Game 3.
“Na overwhelm lang ko sa gipakita na courage sa mga bata sa ilang pagdula, unya ilang support pud nako. I have learned a lot from this team, akoy nakat-on, di sila ang nakakat-on sa ako-a.”
(I was overwhelmed with the courage that the boys have shown in the way they played, also in the way they supported me. I have learned a lot from this team. I am the one who learned, it is not them who learned from me.)
According to Cortes, he learned how to adjust with each and everyone of his players, their attitude and their personality.
Cortes said that after losing Game 1, he told the team to double time their defense especially on UC Webmasters import Frederick Ngoh Elombi of Cameroon.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors in the Webmasters loss is that Elombi only scored 3 points, all from the free throw line.
Cortes said that their defense was not solely concentrated on Elombi who has had numerous double-double performance throughout the season, as they also took note of the Webmasters shooters in John Calvin Jabello and Justine Dacalos. He added that Dacalos had an exceptional shooting in Game 3 and he was glad that they were able to last against him in the final canto.
Cortes said that he had jitters from the start of the series until the last buzzer. He said that there is always tension when one goes up against such type of team. The UC Webmasters were pegged as the underdog in the series.
UV Green Lancers captain ball Josue Segumpan said that the team got upset when they lost Game 1.
“Actually murag na upset mi, na disappoint mi sa Game 1 kay ilang giingon na underdog ang kontra pero napildi mi pero as a captain ball ako sila gi motivate na wala pa nahuman ang finals, ako sila giingnan na hardwork lang, tinabangay lang ta as a team and salig lang sa Ginoo and karon nakuha jud namo tungod sa among paningkamot.”
(Actually, we got upset, we got disappointed in Game 1 because they said the opponent was an underdog but we lost to them but as a captain ball I motivated them that the finals is not over yet, I told them it’s all hardwork, that we should help each other as a team and to trust in God and now we got it because we did our best.)
Before Game 3 started, Segumpan told his team to give it their all, not to reserve anything because there is no more tomorrow, and it will be next year again.
“Pasalamat ko nga nagreact sila, gipakita nila sa ilang duwa.” (I am grateful that they reacted, they showed it in their game.)
After fumbling Game 1, 77-85, on October 11, the Green Lancers came back to even the series at 1-all and forge a do-or-die with a 77-66 victory in Game 2 last Friday.
The Green Lancers had been the title favorites throughout the season due to their deep bench despite bungling their season opener when they bowed to the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors and lost the chance to advance to the finals automatically.
The defending champions got back on track by winning the rest of their games in the double round elimination and ending with an 11-1 win-loss record.
They then made mincemeat of the USC Warriors in the semifinals to immediately grab the first finals ticket.
Mythical 5 member Rey Anthony Suerte topscored for the Green Lancers with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Soliva, who was unstoppable in the low post, chipped in 10 points. Making it hard for the Webmasters under the goal were Jerome Napao and Bassieru Sackor who each pulled 11 rebounds.
Dacalos made up for his fouling out in Game 2 with 23 points but it wasn’t enough to give the Webmasters the title. Ruben Ludovice continued his good showing with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Elombi, for his part, had 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks but got choked in the scoring department.
The UV Green Lancers showed that they had the heart of a champion as they never allowed the UC Webmasters to taste the lead in the entire Game 3.
They posted their biggest lead at 15 points, 30-15, early in the second quarter on a basket by Napao.
The UC Webmasters were able to tie the game at 9-all in the first quarter and also came as close as trailing by just 2 points, 46-48, with two minutes remaining going into the final canto.
But the Green Lancers pulled away again and the Webmasters just had no answer.
UV Green Lancers (69) - Suerte 20, Soliva 10, Napao 9, Sackor 9, Segumpan 8, Albina 7, Balabag 4, Gahi 2.
UC Webmasters (56) - Dacalos 23, Ludovice 12, Puerto 6, Dela Cruz 3, Elombi 3, Kishimoto 3, Galay 2, Gonzaga 2, Jabello 2. – Rappler.com