THE University of Visayas (UV) Green Lancers sneaked past the M.Lhuillier-University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, 76-71, in Game 2 to complete a sweep and win the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Partner’s Cup college division title in the Cebu Coliseum last Tuesday night.
The Green Lancers stepped up in the fourth quarter, thanks to Michael Maestre, who converted an under-the-basket shot off a pass from Rey Suerte that gave UV a 73-71 edge with 18.3 to play.
The Webmasters were looking to tie the game as Justin Dacalos drove to the basket but could not convert as UV’s defense clamped down on him, leading to an uncontested layup on the other end by UV’s guard Sheldon Gahi that made it 75-71 with 2.7 seconds left.
After the shot, UC’s head coach Yayoy Alcoseba was slapped with a technical foul for throwing a chair on the floor. Suerte converted the free throw to ice the game at 76-71.
Maestre played the hero’s role for UV in Game 2 as he scored 13 of his team-high 20 points in the pivotal fourth quarter. Suerte chipped in 17 points and Gahi contributed 11.
The Green Lancers trailed by three points, 52-49, after the third quarter but they scored 27 points while the Webmasters had 19 in the final quarter. The Green Lancers were also down at the half, 37-29.
“I am thankful to my players because they follow my instructions. And also Maestre has really stepped up for us,” said head coach Gary Cortes after the game. “We only proved that we can win a championship series without an import.”
The Green Lancers played Game 2 without their African import Lassina Coulibally, who suffered an injury some three minutes into the opening quarter of Game 1.
Cameroonian Frederick Elombi top-scored for UC with 22 points but committed two costly turnovers in the final minute of the game. Paul Galinato had 17 points including the seven straight in the last three minutes of the second quarter to give UC a 37-29 lead at the half.
The 2018 Cesafi season is set to open on Aug. 25. (RSC)