UV coach says mental toughness needed to overcome twice-to-win disadvantage against UC
Cebu City, Philippines—Needing to win twice against University of Cebu (UC) to advance to the finals of the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament, the University of the Visayas (UV) seem ready for the battle to defend the Cesafi men’s basketball title.
UC and UV renew their rivalry on Thursday, November 14, 2019, for the right to advance to the championship round.
The Green Lancers finished third after the elimination round despite finishing tied with UC with identical 8-4 (win-loss) cards.
But the Webmasters took the second spot and the twice-to-beat edge that comes with it after the quotient system was applied.
UV head coach Gary Cortes, though, isn’t worried with what the team is facing.
“Yes we are,” Cortes said in a message to CDN Digital when asked if they are ready for UC. “We are 100 percent prepared.”
Cortes added that even if the team got swept by the Webmasters in the elimination round, he feels that the team still has a fighting chance.
“Mental toughness is the key [to winning],” said Cortes, who steered the Green Lancers to three straight titles.
The winner of this matchup will face the Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras, who beat the University of San Carlos on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, to advance to the finals for the first time in five years.
Read: SWU-Phinma is back in the Cesafi finals
Despite holding a twice-to-beat edge, UC lead assistant coach Rocky Alcoseba says the team is treating this game as a do-or-die game.
“For us, the two games we won against them in the elimination round does not matter anymore. What matters is we must win tomorrow. Just one game,” Alcoseba said.
His players know what’s at stake and vowed to give it their all, especially after a disappointing finish last year, wherein they were among the favorites but lost steam in the end and finished fourth.
“We all know that UV isn’t an easy opponent and they are not that easy to defeat. But we will surely give our very best to defeat them,” said John Calvin Jabello, the team captain of UC. “Our team is ready and hungry to win this game.”
“We’re excited for our game against UV. It’s going to be tough since they are the defending champion so we really need to step up double time, especially on defense,” added Shane Menina
UV’s players, meanwhile, are just as focused.
“[We have to] stay focused, double time on defense and follow the game plan of coach Gary,” said UV skipper Ted Saga.
Sheldon Gahi, UV’s hardworking playmaker, said one thing’s for sure, the game on Thursday will be a thrilling one.
“Both teams are eager to get that [finals] slot so let’s just see what the results [will be],” Gahi said. /bmjo
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.