By: Jonas N. Panerio October 17,2016 - 09:45 PM

Malcolm Tan of USC and Jerome Napao of UV battle for the loose ball in Game 2 of the Cesafi men’s finals at the Cebu Coliseum (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON).

Malcolm Tan of USC and Jerome Napao of UV battle for the loose ball in Game 2 of the Cesafi men’s finals at the Cebu Coliseum (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON).

UV crushes USC to take huge 2-0 lead in Cesafi men’s basketball finals

The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers are now just a win away from capturing their 11th league title as they manhandled the defending champions University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 69–54, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five finals of the 16th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament last night at the Cebu Coliseum.

Just like the series opener, the third period was when UV carved USC’s tombstone as it rattled off 11 straight points to open up leads that went as high as 23 before going on cruise control the rest of the way.

High-leaping wingman Rey Suerte was UV’s high-point man with 13 points while Liberian forward Bassiere Sackour added 11 points and gobbled up 15 boards. Power forward Monic Soliva continued his fine play down the stretch as he piled up 10 points and 14 boards while Sheldon Gahi was a sparkplug off the bench with 10 points.

UV’s defense was just as fierce as it clamped down on USC’s shooters and held them to just 1-of-14 shooting from long range. Sweet-shooting wingman Kevin Oleodo, USC’s leading scorer, was held down to just four and missed all four of his attempts from beyond the arc.

Nobody from USC reached double figures with Ian Tagapan leading the way with nine.

The Warriors were within striking distance and down by just eight, 24-32, at halftime when the Green Lancers cranked up the defense and forced USC into one turnover after another.

UV capitalized on those with some timely hits from beyond the arc with Suerte and Alfred Codilla making one each in that telling run that gave them a 43-24 lead with 6:19 left in the third.

The lead grew to 55-32 after Gahi canned another triple with 1:16 remaining in that same stretch. USC could only come as close as 16 in the fourth.

“The players are just very hungry for the victory and the title,” said head coach Gary Cortes of his team’s dominance so far in this series.

A win in Game Three on Thursday would hand the Green Lancers the title and sweet revenge for the loss they suffered at the hands of the Warriors in last year’s finals. It would also be their first title since 2013 and their first sweep since 2005.
Meanwhile, the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras nabbed the third place trophy with a 72–68 win over the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars.

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TAGS: basketball, Cebu, Cesafi, Green Lancers, Jaguars, rey suerte, University of San Carlos, University of San Jose Recoletos, University of the Visayas, USC, USC Warriors, USJ-R, UV, Warriors

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