GAME 1 SET
Talisay, San Francisco see tough battle in Gov’s Cup finals
The Talisay City Aquastars are expecting a very tough overall championship series when they face San Francisco for the title of the 2018 Cebu Governor’s Cup Inter-Cities/Municipalities Basketball Tournament with Game 1 to be held tomorrow, 7 p.m. at the Talisay City Sports Complex.
Both teams had contrasting campaigns leading to clinching their respective division titles. San Francisco had to go through Game 3 to dethrone the North division champion Consolacion Sarok Weavers last Friday night at the Cebu Coliseum to advance to the overall championship while the Talisay Aquastars earned a ticket to the finals by sweeping all of their games including the South division finals against the Sibonga Pillars.
Talisay City may be more favored to win the overall title as it goes into the overall championship undefeated and thus sporting a 12-0 win-loss card.
San Francisco, on the other hand, is the underdog who rose to the occasion and proved its doubters wrong.
The first-timers in the Governor’s Cup surprised everyone when it topped the north division semifinals earning the right to face the heavily favored north defending champions Consolacion.
Talisay will have the home court advantage in the crucial Game 1. According to the Aquastars’ head coach Rey Gurrea, they are expecting a very tough overall championship series versus San Francisco after witnessing how the latter toppled Consolacion in Game 3.
“Honestly speaking, it is going to be very difficult for us. I’ve seen how determined San Francisco was during their series with Consolacion, and I’ve seen how their teamwork became so effective and their players are definitely talented, so it’s going to be one hell of a fight,” Gurrea told Cebu Daily News.
Making it more challenging for Talisay is that its center and captain, Elmer Echavez, may not be able to suit up for Game 1 as he injured his ankle while playing for University of San Jose-Recoletos earlier last week versus Far Eastern University in an invitational basketball tournament in Iloilo City.
Echavez, however, had promised Gurrea that he will do his best to play for Talisay City tomorrow night. “It’s very unfortunate because he’s our starting center and he’s the team captain. His substitute, Raffy Bacasmas, is smaller in Echavez’ position so it’s very hard for us to adjust the rotation. I hope that he will recover from his injury before Game 1,” added Gurrea.
According to Gurrea, the team will display the best defense to win the overall championship series. “What makes us an unbeaten team is that we never let ourselves get beaten. We always have that mentality to win no matter what, maybe that’s our edge against them. Maybe this series is all about luck. The team that has the better luck will win and also the team that will display the best defense will win the title,” said Gurrea.
For his part, Christian Liaz, the head coach of San Francisco, said that Talisay’s size will be their main challenge.
Facing an unbeaten team is considerably daunting but he is confident that his players will display the “never say die spirit” that they did against Consolacion for tomorrow’s Game 1.
“Our hard work brought us here to win the title. Nobody expected us to be here,” said Liaz. “We will stick to our system, we will work harder on our defense and secure more rebounds because Talisay City’s players are bigger than us and of course we have to showcase superb teamwork.
Game 1 will be aired live over the Cebu Daily News Facebook page via the Cebu Sports Live.
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