WILL the defending champions Southwestern University Cobras have its crowning moment or will nine-time defending
champions University of the Visayas Green Lancers find a way to stay alive for another day?
The two heavyweights will clash in Game 3 of the best-of-five championship series of the 2013 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) college basketball finals at 4 p.m. today after the deciding game of the best-of-three series for third place between the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors and the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars at 2 p.m.
The Cobras are leading the series 2-0, and a victory today will give them the title and an affirmation of a season-long domination that has seen the defending champion roll to 14 straight wins.
“We have not achieved anything (yet). Not until we will be champions,” SWU head coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba told Sun.Star Cebu.
SWU is expecting a tougher opposition from the Lancers, who showed signs of resiliency in Game 2.
But a 20-minute spell was not enough to propel them to their first victory and they lost anew, 71-60. The Lancers also lost in Game 1, 64-52, and have not beaten the SWU Cobras since Game 4 of last year’s finals.
UV lost 70-66 in the elimination round and twice in the semifinal round, 68-64 and 77-70.
In all those losses, UV failed to check the offensive rebounding of the Cobras, which was one of the factors for their defeats.
The Lancers also failed to check SWU’s silent operators Bernie Bregondo and Daryl Goloran who took turns in manning the power forward position for the Cobras.
Alcoseba turned the two from inconsequential to integral players, making them work overtime to become excellent defensive stoppers and above-average perimeter shooters.
Adding woes to UV is the suspension of Francisco Arong, who was thrown out of last Thursday for using a fist in trying to knock the ball out of the hands of SWU’s Monbert Arong.
Coach Felix Belano might also be playing without Vincent Mendoza, who got injured in Game 2.
“Kulang mi ug players kay suspended man si Arong then injured pud si Mendoza. We have a game plan but always, dili gyud ma execute or sometimes dili gyud mahuman throughout the game. Tomorrow (today) what we prepared are simple plays then we will try to execute well in our defense and we will try to limit their guards,” Belano told Sun.Star Cebu.
In the two finals losses, UV failed to play strong down low—a move that could have given their shooters a chance to break from the tough defense of the Cobras.
Prior to opening tip off, the Cesafi will award the top individual achievers this season—the MVP, Rookie of the Year and the Mythical 5 Selection.
In the battle for third place, USJ-R showed they can be tough even without reinforcement following their thrilling 76-75 win in Game 2 last Thursday.
The Warriors, however, are expected to play tougher this time to win the consolation trophy.