UV, USPF not taking semis foes lightly

By: Dale Rosal - CDN Digital | December 05,2022 - 05:41 PM
UV semis

UV head coach Gary Cortes mans the sidelines in this photo from the Sugbuanong Kodaker FB page.

CEBU CITY, Philippines—They may be the two best teams going into the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc.’s (Cesafi) men’s basketball semis, but the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers and the University of Southern Philippines-Foundation (USP-F) Panthers aren’t leaving any room for complacency as they face their respective foes on Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the Cebu Coliseum.

The Green Lancers, the top seed of the tournament after finishing the elimination round with an 8-2 (win-loss) record, will be taking on the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars while the Panthers, who finished second place with a 7-3 card to clinch the No. 2 spot, faces the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters.

Both UV and USPF will have a twice-to-beat advantage against their semis opponents. 

But UV coach Gary Cortes said they are not banking on the edge against Jaguars team who they expect will be making adjustments in the semis. 

“With the twice to beat advantage, anything can happen. Sa time nga na champion mi, twice to beat ang among kontra ato, but we beat them twice. So dili lang ka kumpyansaan,” Cortes said.

Cortes said he knows the Jaguars have been making adjustments since their first meeting this season, as seen by their performance in the second round.

“Based sa among pagdula sa USJ-R, sa first round encounter namo, naglabaw man siguro mi ug 20 nila. Pero pag second round na, medyo nigamay na among labaw. So, murag naka adjust na jud sila. Samot na karon nga semifinals, expect mi nga ni himo na sila ug necessary adjustments,” said Cortes, whose wards swept their opponents in the elimination round. 

Cortes will be having some minor adjustments too, especiatlly that starting point guard Jimpaul Amistoso might be returning to action after recovering from his chronic ankle pain. Amistoso has been sidelined for several weeks during the elimination round due to the injury. 

Beirn Laurente, on the other hand, will likely miss the semifinals after Cortes revealed that his hamstring tear was aggravated, extending his recovery period. 

While UV will be banking on its might on both ends of the floor, USPF head coach Alan Cabatingan said defense will be the key to making it through the semis. 

Cabatingan believes it was their defensive prowess that allowed them to finish second after the elimination round.

“Tabla mi sa UC sa elimination round, nakadaog mi nila, nadakaog sad sila namo. That is why mo adjust mi ug maayo sa defense karon. Amo pa gyud gi improve among defense. Mao gyud among way sad mo daog,” said Cabatingan. 

But more than defense, Cabatingan also believes his players have the hunger to win it all this year.

“Ang kasing-kasing sa mga players among gisaligan ug ang desire namo nga makasulod mi sa semifinals. So naa jud mi purpose ngano nabutang mi sa No. 2,” the coach said.

Like Cortes, Cabatingan said what he doesn’t to happen is for his players to be  complacent against an equally hungry UC team. 

“Ihatag lang gyud namo ang best namo. So far wala ra jud tawn na injured ug kadtong na suspend nga players, makaduwa gyud. Makaduwa na tanan,” said Cabatingan. 

The semifinals on Thursday begins at 5:15 p.m. 

The juniors semifinals will kick off  Tuesday, December 6. 

The unbeaten City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy (CBSAA) will play against the UV Baby Green Lancers at 5:15 p.m., followed by Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles’ semifinals game against the UC Baby Webmasters at 6:45 p.m. 

/bmjo

READ MORE:

Cesafi men’s basketball: Green Lancers take down Jaguars

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TAGS: Cebu Basketball, Cebu sports, Cesafi 2022, Cesafi basketball, Cesafi news, Cesafi semis, UC, USJ-R, USPF, UV
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