UV seals No. 2 spot in Cesafi-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
THE short-handed University of the Visayas Green Lancers arrived expecting an easy game.
Instead, they left with bruised players and damaged egos.
Still, they went home with a hard-earned 82-68 win over the Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Eastern College Dragons survived the fourth quarter attacks of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Baby Panthers, 94-82, to improve to 5-2.
Although, they were at least a head shorter against the Lancers, CIT-U proved to be tough and costumers and gave the nine-time defending champions a hard time before conceding their fourth game in five outings.
It happened as UV played with only 11 players as coach Felix “Donbel” Belano Jr. slapped disciplinary sanction on guards Christian Fajardo, Alfred Codilla, Vincent Mendoza and Angelo Babia for failing to attend practice without asking permission.
At first it looked alright as Belano still had his reliable players who usually carry the team to victory.
However, as John Abad injured his left foot after a collision with Floyd Taboada with four minutes left to play in the first quarter, the Lancers started to feel the absence of their backcourt players.
Belano had to rely on Mico Marquez to quarterback for the Lancers, but he too was taken out for good early in the final period when he got bruised in his left eye following an accidental collision with Taboada.
CIT-U’s Rookie sensation Joshua De la Cerna punished the inside defense of the Lancers and he proved unstoppable down low, even mocking the defense of the reigning Rookie/MVP Hernal “Wowie” Escosio and Arvie Cabañero.
De la Cerna scored 11 of CIT-U’s 13 points that put the Wildcats within 26-23 with 2:30 left to play in the second period.
However, Steve Cedrick Akomo came to the rescue and scored all of UV’s short but telling 6-0 run that gave them the momentum back.
The Wildcats team skipper Floyd Taboada who took over the scoring cudgels and also began to make a mockery of the defense by forcing them commit foul after foul.
At one point, Taboada drew four fouls from the Lancers, including an unsportsmanlike foul from Escoscio that put UV in penalty situation.
UV however found leverage when their better post players asserted their presence in the third and their guards finally found their shooting touch.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2013.