LONG WAY TO GO
Despite staying unbeaten, M. Lhuillier-UC coach Yayoy Alcoseba says team is far from top form
The M. Lhuillier-University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters racked up their fourth win in a row after beating the Cebu Landmasters-University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 77-63, in the Cesafi Partner’s Cup Preseason Tournament yesterday at the Cebu Coliseum.
However, in spite of their perch atop the standings, UC head coach Yayoy Alcoseba remarked that their 4-0 win-loss record does not indicate just how good the Webmasters could possibly be.
“We’re still in the birthing pains stage. With a lot of new players to integrate, we’re still trying to get to know one another,” said the multi-titled head coach who steered UC back to the finals of the Cesafi last season, just months after taking the position.
Asked how he would rate his team at this point, Alcoseba gave the Webmasters a “4” on offense and a “6 out of 10” on defense.
The former Cebu Doctors’ University and Southwestern University-Phinma head coach admitted that their upcoming trip to Bayugan City for an inter-collegiate tournament would be crucial for their preparations.
“Going up against these strong teams would help us become more mature and experienced,” he added.
Frederick Elombi had 32 points and 19 rebounds while new recruit Darrell Shane Menina continued to prove his worth with all-around numbers of 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals for the Webmasters, who trailed early in the first but made their way back in the second to head to halftime down by just one, 24-25.
The Webmasters took control in the third as they rode the hot shooting of Elombi, who scored 12 points in that stretch to put them up, 48-39, going to the final period.
UC continued to pull away in the fourth before USC took advantage of the Webmasters’ second stringers and trimmed the deficit to seven, 63-70, after two free throws from rookie guard Jomari Ranuco.
But that proved to be USC’s last hurrah as transition layups by Justine Dacalos and Joey Manguerra and a thunderous two-handed slam by Elombi shut the door on the Warriors.
USC got 12 points from Magic Marata but it was far from enough to keep the Warriors from losing their third game in a row to drop to 2-3.
In the high school division, the USC Baby Warriors dealt the Mandaue Hotel-UC its loss of the competition with a 58-56 squeaker.
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