How sweet the UV Cesafi three-peat is

CEBU. UV wins Cesafi title for the third time in a row. (SunStar photo Arni Aclao)
CEBU. UV wins Cesafi title for the third time in a row. (SunStar photo Arni Aclao)

THE University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers showed their championship form and asserted basketball mastery with a historic three-peat despite the suspension of their bench tactician after beating the University of the San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, 74-61, in Game 3 of the 18th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball at the Cebu Coliseum on Monday, Oct. 29.

The Green Lancers used a 9-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Jaguars and add another trophy to its growing collection in Cesafi.

After trailing from the start, the Jaguars managed to tie the game for the first time with 7:10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter at 59-all after USJ-R’s Rickay Peromingan’s two-pointer.

But it was all downhill for the Jaguars after the deadlock as court general Jaybie Mantilla fouled out with 5:34 to play.

The Green Lancers attacked the Jaguars with a 9-0 run that was highlighted by two triples from Jafet Claridad. John Ubalde ended the dry spell for the Jaguars with a two-pointer but season MVP Rey Anthony Suerte responded with a triple and a layup to pad UV’s lead to 71-61, with 1:09 ticks left.

UV’s assistant Jojo Maglasang, who called the shots in Game 3, told SunStar Cebu that it was their defense that carried the team to the championship.

“It was all the hard work of the boys and also the support of the whole UV community,” said Maglasang.

UV’s head coach Gary Cortes, who was suspended for this Game 2 after acquiring two technical fouls in Game 2, praised the coaching staff and players for showing the dedication.

“It’s the unity of the coaching staff, the dedication of the players and our communication. We have done this the previous time that my coaching staff were tasked to call the shots; that was in the Partners’ Cup,” said Cortes.

Suerte displayed his full arsenal and carried the load for the Green Lancers as he finished with 16 points, including the clutch three-pointer with 1:57 left to play. Suerte screamed after making that shot.

Claridad was a difference maker in the series and handed 15 points; the biggest points for him were when he drilled a three-pointer to break the 59-all deadlock and put UV up by three with about six minutes to play.

UV’s import Bassieu Sackor had a quite double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Raul Jancork Cabahug handed 11 points, which were scored mostly in the first half when UV led by as much as 13.

It was a sweet ending for UV’s season as they battled their way to the top, starting with a unfamiliar 0-2 (win-loss) record before ending up at second place with a 9-3 slate after the double round-robin elimination round. The Green Lancers beat their bitter rivals University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters in the semis to arrange a best-of-three duel against the top seeded Jaguars.


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