I WAS never really a fan of the University of the Visayas Green Lancers during their nine-year reign in the Cesafi. And when they took on my alma mater the University of San Carlos--a surprise finalist back then--of course, I wanted UV to lose.
Against other schools, I always picked the underdog because back then, it seemed all UV had to do was show up and win the title. There was even a stretch of a few years when UV went undefeated and it went so long that the three papers had different totals of UV’s win streak.
The only time I cheered for UV? When they faced the Manila teams in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, especially when they took on Ateneo in the finals.
That all changed in Game 3 of this year’s Cesafi finals as the UV Lancers did the impossible. It’s quite hard to highlight what UV has done to win the Cesafi crown but just get this, three times the Lancers had to win or go home with their tails between their legs, and three times they did.
I had nothing but scorn for the UV Lancers in 2011, when that squad bullied its way out of the semifinal in an inglorious exit. Now, I have nothing but praises for this year’s Lancers squad. Against those other champion UV squads of legend, I’ll bet my arm and a leg on coach Felix Belano’s boys.
They have it all by the buckets and then some.
Take that Game 3 win in double overtime.
You need not be a basketball expert to see that in Game 3, UV was the more determined team, while SWU thought that the title was theirs.
And after winning Game 4, for UV, it seemed there was nothing it couldn’t do and it showed in Game 5 when the Lancers completed the impossible.
I think UV president Eddie Gullas said it best, “Visayanians fight best when the odds are greatest.”
What’s next for UV? The Philippine Collegiate Champions League, where no Cebu team has won the title in over a generation and this year, I have a good feeling that may change.
For sure, man-to-man, UV won’t come out on top against the top schools in Manila, but
hey, after doing the impossible in the Cesafi finals, there’s nothing this UV squad can’t do.
So dear Lancers, stay hungry. Never lose that edge. That feeling in Game 3? Always cherish that and your response.
CESAFI VS. AYING. I’ve refrained from commenting on the Scott Aying case because I thought it was resolved. It seems it’s far from over as the Cesafi is elevating the case to the Court of Appeals.
Cesafi sees the case as an affront to its authority as the sports body for school sports. Officials even think that the move will encourage those who’d question referees’ decisions to go to the courts and they are so afraid of that that they are willing to forego the high school semifinals.
They missed the point.
They should have seen the court decision as a chance to reexamine their two-year residency rule and how they are implementing it.
And if they think that without the two-year residency rule the league will be destroyed, well they changed that rule in 2012 and the league wasn’t destroyed in the
12 years it operated with the one-year residency requirement.
I don’t think Cesafi is in any danger from any court ruling, I think the danger lies when the officials think they can never be wrong.
One comment from an observer who saw the Cesafi football finals says it all.
“Naunsa na ma ni ang Cesafi, mura man sila’g mga ginoo”