THE University of the Visayas Green Lancers did it again.
For the first time since winning nine straight Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) titles, the Green Lancers have won back-to-back crowns after a commanding 69-56 win over the University of Cebu Webmasters in Game 3 last night at the Cebu Coliseum.
The championship experience and the deeper and better-skilled bench of the Lancers prevailed, spoiling the Cinderella run of the Webmasters.
UV had a blazing start by sinking all first three attempts to lead 7-0, then held off repeated tries of the Webmasters to change the game, and coach Yayoy Alcoseba finally conceded the match with still 1:47 left and the Lancers already enjoying a 67-53 lead.
For the emotional Gary Cortes, this title is more meaningful because of the struggles they endured this season.
“This title is more meaningful because we went through a lot of struggles this season. Because aside from winning, there are also a lot of factors that we need to adjust as a team. I’ve mixed emotions, I am just very happy that we won,” Cortes told reporters after the game.
After UC tied the game at 9-all, UV finished the opening quarter with a 12-4 blast to post an 8-point lead, 21-13.
As UV displayed a fluid game and built its biggest lead, 30-15, midway in the second period, the Webmasters struggled for points usually delivered by Cameroonian import Frederick Elombi.
Elombi’s offense was nowhere near his average as he was held to 0 of 9 and managed to finish with only three points, all from the free throw line in the fourth period. He did finish with 11 rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks.
In frustration, Alcoseba had to pull Elombi out after the Cameroonian center missed a wide open layup he just flicked aimlessly, with under two minutes left.
Rey Suerte topscored for UV with 20 points while Monic Soliva added 10. Dacalos scored the game high 23 points and Ruben Ludovice contributed 12 for UC’s losing cause.
“I got a little emotional because this title is very precious. The Juniors team won the title last Thursday and that put some pressure on our side to win this title also for the school. I am really overwhelmed by what the players had shown. I learned a lot from this team,” Cortes said.