UV dumps persistent USJ-R team, sets up finals battle with UC
CEBU CITY, Philippines —The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers marched to the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) men’s basketball finals for the sixth straight edition after they eliminated the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, 64-51, in their do-or-die semifinals duel at the Cebu Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
The Green Lancers made sure that their heartbreaking defeat last Thursday would not happen again after senior Jiesel Tarrosa exploded for 20 points to lead the team to victory.
Albert Sacayan added 10, while Rovello Robles had eight.
Klein Gordillo had 11 points for the Jaguars, while Elmer Echavez and JZ Dizon each scored nine points.
UV vs. UC for championship
The UV team will face the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, who defeated the University of Southern Philippines-Foundation Panthers twice to barge into the finals of the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament.
Tip off for the championship game between the Green Lancers and Webmasters will be on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 5 p.m. at the Cebu Coliseum.
In tonight’s game, the Green Lancers made sure that there will be no repeat of last Thursday’s loss from the Jaguars, who engineered a come-from behind victory against the Lancers.
Tonight’s win was also a vindication of sorts for Tarrosa as he fouled out of the game in their loss last Thursday.
Tarrosa, one of the seniors who would bid goodbye to the Green Lancers after this season, said that his mindset going to the do-or-die game earlier was about bouncing back from their loss last Thursday.
“Akong mindset mobounce lang jud para sa team unya last year na ni nako pud. Eager kaayo ko nga makuha ni nako nga finals. Paninguhaon namo mobounce back jud mi every game. Dili mi moplay as the No. 1 team, we will remain hungry sa tibuok series,” said Tarrosa who will play for his fourth straight Cesafi finals.
(My mindset is to bounce back for the team and this is my last year to play too. I am eager to get to the finals. We will try our best to bounce back in every game. We won’t play as the No. 1 team, we will remain hungry in the whole series.)
“Gigil kaayo mi tanan, nanggawas tanan errors, even ako, ni graduate ko. Akong mga pointguards, nag foul trouble pud. Pagtomorrow after ato, amo na giusab among sistema para modaog,” he said.
(We were all so hyped up, all our errors showed, even I, I graduated. My pointguards, went into foul trouble also. Then the tomorrow after that game, we changed our system so that we can win.)
Besides Tarrosa, this will be the sixth Cesafi finals appearance for UV’s head coach Gary Cortes and first time for UC’s head coach Kern Sesante.
Leading all the way
UV was leading throughout the game. They entered the second half with a 13-point cushion, 33-20, and stretched it to their biggest lead of 17, 40-23.
However, the Jaguars fought back, cutting the lead to just single digit, 39-48, after uncorking an 18-11 run, but UV quickly doused the fire to bring their lead back to double digits, 51-41, heading into the final period.
The Jaguars made a last ditch effort in the final period after cutting the lead to just five, 46-51.
With the finals spot on the line, Tarrosa and Jimpaul Amistoso sank back-to-back triples to bring UV’s lead to nine, 57-48, midway in the final period.
USJ-R manage to cut the lead to seven, 50-57, but UV’s team captain Ted Saga answered back with a layup to maintain a multiple possession lead, 59-50, with 3:12 remaining.
The Jaguars had all the chances to keep their finals hope alive, but their turnovers and seven missed shots in crunch time bogged them down.
Plus, Amistoso and Sacayan scored back-to-back layups which stretched UV’s lead to double digits, 64-51, en route to winning the game.
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