With multiple Cesafi men’s basketball titles, does UV still feel pressured entering a new season?

By: Brian J. Ochoa - CDN Digital | July 22,2023 - 09:55 AM

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu—With 14 Cesafi men’s basketball titles, one may think the University of the Visayas (UV) would lose its hunger for a title at some point.

But not with UV head coach Gary Cortes still at the helm. In fact, Cortes admitted he still feels pressured to deliver a title every season.

The Green Lancers are the reigning Cesafi champs and are once again the team to watch in the coming Cesafi  season that starts in September.

READ: UV Green Lancers bag 14th Cesafi men’s basketball title; head coach Cortes hints at retiring

Cortes, in an interview in the weekly CDN Sportstalk, said he never felt too confident entering a season.

“As a coach of the UV Green Lancers, the expectations are high,” said Cortes, who was joined in the show by outgoing Green Lancer and former captain Ted Saga and current captain Jim Paul Amistoso.

“In fact, I was really hesitant at first to accept coaching job because it’s UV. There’s a winning tradition,” he added. 

Cortes coached UV since 2014, and since then, he only lost twice in the championship—once against the University of San Carlos, and once against the Southwestern University in 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the Cesafi season.

New teams 

As they enter this season, Cortes expects another tough year, especially with the return of the Southwestern University Cobras, who took a leave of absence last season, and the addition of new teams in the University of the Philippines and two teams from Bogo City.

He revealed that the new teams have been actively recruiting players in preparation for their debut in the Cesafi.

Asked who he thinks will be the team that has the highest chance of dethroning them, Cortes didn’t give an answer.

“I can’t tell who because I haven’t seen other teams’ rosters except for UC (University of Cebu), USPF (University of Southern Philippines Foundation) and CIT (Cebu Institute of Technology-University),” he said.

READ: UV Green Lancers top Moalboal cagefest

He said aside from the teams he mentioned, who were active in joining tournaments during the off season, other teams have been silent, which makes it hard to scout them.

Meanwhile, Amistoso said he is confident with his teammates entering the new season but admits they can’t be complacent.

“We can’t be too confident because other teams are also preparing well,” he said.


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TAGS: basketball, Cesafi, UV

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