Photo by PJ Estan
CEBU CITY, Philippines - The University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors opened their CESAFI season with an upset win over the defending champion University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers, 78-73, Sunday, August 6, at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Their junior counterpart, the Baby Warriors however did not do as well as their older brothers as they got thrashed by the Don Bosco Technological Center (DBTC) Greywolves, 73-63.
The other junior game had the Baby Lancers setting up a good start of a the season for UV by surviving a last quarter onslaught put up by the Cebu Institute of Technology University (CITU) Wildkittens in the final canto, 68-62.
The Warriors seemed determined to defy the predictions of CESAFI commissioner Felix "Boy" Tiukinhoy that teams with imports will be the ones fighting it out for the top spots.
USC, which is playing this season without an import, showed they are serious contenders for regaining the CESAFI title which they lost to the Green Lancers last season.
The Green Lancers, which still have 6-foot-6 import Bassieru Sackor, had a dismal start which allowed the Warriors to the take the upperhand early on in the game.
UV rallied back with an 11-2 run to take the lead. But the Warriors countered and had the advantage once again.
It became a pattern in the first half. The Green Lancers wilted in the face of the Warriors' consistency and determination as they never got another taste of the lead from the third quarter until the final buzzer.
The Warriors managed to stretch the lead to 14 points, 72-58, with a little more than 3 minutes left in the ballgame.
UV's cause was not helped by the ejection of Sheldon Gahi, who was called for two straight unsportsmanlike fouls. Gahi will have to serve a one-game suspension, pay a P5,000 fine and do 4 hours of community service under the Cebu City Sports Commission before he can return on the hardcourt.
Leading the Warriors season opening win was Victor Rabat who dished out 17 points alongside new teammate Kent Cabanog who also contributed 17 points. Former Arellano University cager Julius Cadavis also added 10 points for USC's first win.
Jerome Napao topscored for UV with 14 points while Sackor managed 13 points despite playing only in the second half. Josue Segumpan and reigning CESAFI MVP Rey Anthony Suerte added 11 points apiece. – Rappler.com
USC Warriors (78) - Rabat 17, Cabanog 17, Cadavis 10, Mangubat 9, Ecarma 6, Tan 5, Trangia 4, Saycon 4, Araw-Araw 3, Oguis 3.
UV Green Lancers (73) - Napao 14, Sackor 13, Sehumpan 11, Suerte 11, ALbina 9, Testa 6, Cabahug 3, Gahi 2, Hassan 2, Maestre 1, Balabag 1.
UV Baby Lancers (68) - Laurente 16, Actub 12, Rosete 12, Intrampas 4, Jelianggao 4, Paraldo 4, Omandac 3, Tano 3, Cometa 2, Maglasang 2.
CITU Wildkittens (62) - Ancit 13, Abinuman 9, Suson 9, Trigue 9, Villanel 8, Granada 7, Hermosa 3, Bugtai 2, Gaviola 2.
DBTC Greywolves (73) - Abejo 19, Malubay 18, Damolo 14, Dela Torre 12, Macam 3, Ranuco 3, Boyboy 2.
USC Baby Warriors (63) - Balazuela 15, Allosada 8, Saliot 8, Bande 7, Iñigo 6, Dumandan 5, Mendoza 4, Salundaquit 4, Barliso 2, Gonzaga 2, Octaviano 2.