In the checkered history of the Cesafi, there is always a team which is simply a cut above the rest.
Men’s basketball has 12-time champion — the University of the Visayas, table tennis has the 17-time winner — the University of Cebu while college football has the nine-time title-holders — University of San Jose-Recoletos.
For women’s volleyball, it’s the reigning champions Southwestern University (SWU)–Phinma who has dominated the league by winning six titles in the last seven years.
Later this weekend, the Lady Cobras hope to add another trophy to their plethora of awards as they take on the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) in the best-of-three finals which starts this Sunday.
Before their finals encounter, both SWU-Phinma and USJ-R hope to gain a psychological advantage as they face-off on Saturday to close out the round-robin semifinals.
SWU-Phinma which only lost twice the past three years, both to USJ-R, made its way back to the finals by sweeping the eliminations and beating the University of San Carlos over the weekend in the round-robin semis.
Interestingly, those two losses by the Lady Cobras came in the last game of the round-robin semifinals in 2015 and 2016.
As they prepare to go up against the Lady Jaguars, SWU mentor Roy Ulan is confident that his ladies could win the title again, citing their unity outside the court as their primary advantage in the series.
“Kahibalo na sila unsa ilang sayop sa court ug unsaon nila pagbawi. Kahibalo sad sila mo-accept sa ilang sayop. Mao siguro ang advantage sa ako team. Of course, salig g’yud ko sa akong mga players nga kayanon nila,” Ulan said.
Ulan, though, admits that his wards, who hold a 7-0 (win-loss) card this season, still need to improve their focus and minimize their mistakes to complete the very first unbeaten season in league history.
In sporting folklore, legendary teams always have that key ingredient that separates them from everyone else. And for the Lady Cobras, that plus factor is their being true to what they believe in, that when there’s unity, there’s always victory.