To Game 5 they go-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
PLAYING like there was no tomorrow, the nine-time champions University of the Visayas Green Lancers sent the series to the deciding Game 5 following a 71-66 win in Game 4 that evened the 2013 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) College Division’s best-of-5 championship series to 2-2 at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
The Lancers played like a well-oiled war machine, hitting the Cobras hard then holding steady in the final minutes when the defending champions were hot on their tail, to force the rubber-match at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
“We offered this game to God. Everything we do is all for Him. Focus, execution of our game plan and defense were the main ingredients to our victory tonight. We know that we were facing the defending champions and it would not be an easy game for us. I am very proud of my players because they showed they have the heart, a lot of them,” UV head coach Felix “Donbel” Belano Jr. said after the game.
Last year, the series also went the distance and UV, leading by 17 with seven minutes to go, got beat by SWU, 73-72.
Now, they get a chance to correct that as the series goes to Game 5.
Slighted by the SWU slogan “No hearts, no chance,” UV came into the game prepared with a varied arsenal, to show the full capacity crowd that they got the heart to win back-to-back games.
“The players responded, especially when Sir Eddie (Gullas) told them that we should play like there is no tomorrow. He visited us in our video viewing and practice last Monday and constantly reminded us that we should play to the best of our abilities,” added UV assistant coach Van Halen Parmis.
After 2012 Rookie/MVP Hernal “Wowie” Escosio scored the first basket of the game, 2013 season MVP Mark Jayven Tallo sank a triple for SWU’s only lead of the game at the 3:04 mark.
Tallo’s trey proved to be the only triple for SWU in the game while UV had a deluge of triples that helped them build an 18-point lead, 49-31, at the 7:35 mark of the third period—the biggest in the game, and the Lancers’ biggest lead against the Cobras this season.
As Escosio scored his fourth point and Mike Harry Nzeusseu made his first two, rookie Leonard Santillan, who made his second start this season, opened UV’s three-point floodgate at the 5:21 mark of the first period.
The Lancers nailed a total of eight triples, with John Abad nailing four, to complement its efficient inside attacks.
“Our three-pointers helped a lot in building our confidence. But we have some few lapses on defense as we allowed Tallo to do damage despite our efforts to put a plug on him. Still the determination and the hearts of the players prevailed for this win,” added Belano.
After trailing by 18 points, SWU slowly regained its poise and behind Cameroonian center Landry Sanjo, the Cobras trimmed the lead down to 49-57 entering the final quarter.
Sanjo, who fouled out in Game 3, played the entire 40 minutes committing only three foul . Nzeusseu found himself facing disqualification with four fouls and had to be taken out late in the third period.
It was SWU’s poor free throw shooting that gave UV the breathing space, especially in the final 69 seconds of the game.
SWU missed 10 of 14 foul shots in the fourth quarter; the last two were the most crucial at the final 21.2 seconds mark and committed by rookie swingman Adams Mohammed.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 02, 2013.