UV defeats UC, forces Game 3 for Cesafi title

SPARK. AJ Sacayan sank a corner triple that sparked the University of the Visayas Green Lancers’ breakaway in the fourth.
SPARK. AJ Sacayan sank a corner triple that sparked the University of the Visayas Green Lancers’ breakaway in the fourth. RONEX TOLIN

THE University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers dug deep on defense and held the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters scoreless in the last four minutes of the game to come away with a 53-41 win in Game 2 of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Season 23 college basketball finals on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 at the Cebu Coliseum.

The win sets the stage for a winner-take-all game on Saturday, Dec. 16, 5 p.m., that will decide which school will be named the kings of Cesafi college basketball in Season 23.

UV coach Gary Cortes said the win bodes well for the confidence of the Green Lancers heading to the final match of the season.

“With the win last night, at least we are given another lease on life going into the last and final day this season. And it adds more confidence to the team, and with the hard work and prayers, we are hoping for the best,” shared Cortes.

With its title reign on the line, UV turned its focus on its defense and held UC to just four points in the third period and 12 in the entire second half. Athletic wingmen Raul Gentallan and Ivo Salarda led at the point of attack and forced the Webmasters to commit six turnovers down the stretch to pull away for good.

UC coach Kern Sesante admitted that UV showed more hunger and desire in Game 2, and it’s now on them to match or surpass that in Game 3.

“UV was the hungrier team in Game 2. They went all out on defense while we began to be very sloppy with the ball,” said Sesante.

The battle of the boards will also be crucial, said Sesante, as the team that grabbed more rebounds has come away with victories in this fiercely competitive series.

“Basically, based on Games 1 and 2, the team who won the battle of the boards won the game. So, I told them to all help with the rebounds. Most importantly, I also told them to take care of the ball,” Sesante shared.

Gentallan energized the Green Lancers in the fourth period where he scored six of his team-high 12 points. Salarda added 11 markers, while Froiland Maglasang chipped in eight points.

Game 2 hung in the balance in the fourth, but UV found their second wind and uncorked a 10-0 run sparked by a triple by AJ Sacayan, consecutive layups by Gentallan, and a free-throw by Maglasang for a 46-37 lead, with 6:29 left in the game.

UC trimmed the deficit to five after baskets by Jasper Pacaña and Zareygel Rosano with 4:02 to go. However, that proved to be the last time the Webmasters got on the board as they went scoreless the rest of the way.

UV, meanwhile, kept on humming as Ivan Alsola scored two free-throws, Maglasang shot in a midrange jumper, and Jim Paul Amistoso sank the dagger—a long straightaway three-pointer that pegged the final score.


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