UV’s edge: Anyone can deliver at any given time

By: JONAS PANERIO October 26,2018 - 11:16 PM

6:00 PM – UV vs USJ-R

LONG BEFORE this season started, the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers has had to deal with injuries to key players.

It started with the knee injury suffered by Lassina Coulibally of the Ivory Coast during the finals of the preseason Partners’ Cup.

Then, just as the season was about to kick off, the Green Lancers lost starting point guard Sheldon Gahi to a fractured foot.

Even in the Cesafi men’s basketball finals, UV was not spared from injury as they lost starting guard Gileant Delator, who suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for all but five minutes of Game 1 against the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R).

Fortunately, UV head coach Gary Cortes has assembled a crew that is always ready to go to battle at any time.

“When I choose a player on the team, I make sure that he can contribute and deliver at any given time,” said Cortes, who is now a win away from steering the Green Lancers to a third straight title, a feat only UV has accomplished in this league.

“When the semifinal started, I reminded them that all of them would play at anytime in any given situation. So [I told them to always] be prepared.”

UV had to grind it out with USJ-R before pulling off a 78-74 win in Game 1.

“I never ask any of them to play like Superman. All I want is for them to just play their normal game and if ever they play excellent, then so much the better,” Cortes added.

One of the players who played that role to a tee in Game 1 was rookie Jafet Claridad.

Aside from delivering 14 points and making the three pointer that put UV ahead for good in the fourth, Claridad also played leech-like defense on USJ-R star and reigning MVP Jaybie Mantilla.

USJ-R head coach Leode Garcia admitted that Claridad’s defense on Mantilla derailed a lot of the team’s plans.

“When Jaybie wasn’t able to get the ball, the other players just resorted to one on one plays. We didn’t stick to our gameplan and execute what we were supposed to. We’ll have to make a few adjustments come Game 2,” said an exasperated Garcia after the series opener.

Mantilla managed to score 18 points but shot 5-of-16.

He scored 10 of his points in the first canto when USJ-R got off to a hot start but started to fade due to the defensive ploy of UV.

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TAGS: anyone, Can, deliver, edge, given, TIME, UV

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