Four teams will take the floor on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 9, 2023, but only two will move on to play in the finals of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Season 23 high school basketball tournament.
This is what’s at stake in the two winner-take-all matches that will be played starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Cebu Coliseum.
Opening the hostilities will be the match between the top-ranked University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars and the fourth-seed University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers. UV forced the rubbermatch by defeating USJ-R, 52-43, last Tuesday.
This will be followed by the 2 p.m. showdown between the second-seed and reigning champions Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles and the hard-fighting University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue (UCLM) Webmasters.
The Webmasters are still basking in the glory of their 55-52 win over the Magis Eagles on Thursday night in a wild game marred by a scuffle with two minutes left in the game. Now, UCLM will try to keep its momentum going and shoot down the Magis Eagles to make it to the finals for the first time since joining the league in 2019.
It remains to be seen, though, if there would be any additional sanctions given to the erring parties involved in the ugly incident that occurred with 2:03 left in the fourth. Magis Eagles wingman Alden Cainglet was on his way to the rim for a layup when he was taken down hard by UCLM guard Revo Lao.
Players from both teams—including some from UCLM’s bench—got in one another’s faces and when the dust settled, Lao was assessed an unsportsmanlike foul while Ateneo de Cebu’s Nikolas Yu got ejected.
Meanwhile, in the collegiate basketball tournament, the UC Webmasters completed the finals with a dominant 83-72 win over the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers, in their semifinal match on Thursday.
Zareygel Rosano led UC with 19 points, while Jhiey Paraldo came up with 13 markers. Luther Leonard finished with 12.
UC will take on the defending champions UV Green Lancers in a rematch of last season’s finals. Game 1 will be on Tuesday afternoon.