UV outlasts UP Cebu in Cesafi men’s basketball
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Multi-titled head coaches Gary Cortes and Rommel Rasmo treated Cebuano basketball fans to a worthy Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) college basketball game that went down the wire on Saturday, September 30, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.
After the dust settled down, Cortes’ University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers eked out a hard-fought 59-56 victory against Rasmo and his newcomers from the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu Fighting Maroons.
Former Bukidnon Cowboy Raul Gentallan displayed his full potential by pacing UV with 16 points while fellow Bukidnon native Ivo Salarda added 10 points to tally their first win of the season.
Former USJ-R Jaguar JD Dizon and bigman Aron Kress both scored 12 points in UP’s valiant stand against the heavily favored defending champions.
As everyone expected a dominant outing for UV, UP Cebu surprisingly stormed back from a 13-point deficit, 47-34, in the final period as both teams traded baskets, with UP capitalizing on UV’s missed shots.
UP Cebu tied the game at 54-all after Niño Sarol sank a triple followed by a layup from AJ Delos Reyes with four minutes remaining in the game.
However, UV quickly answered with a three-point play from Zyle Cabellon, who scored a layup plus a free throw, to give them a three-point lead, 57-54.
Not to be outfought, Dizon answered with a jumper from the top of the key to pull themselves within one point, 56-57, in the final two minutes of the game.
With the game on the line, both teams ironically suffered costly turnovers as time winded down with UV having the ball possession from the last call.
With 43 seconds left in the game, Cabellon drove to the middle of the basket and dropped a sleek pass to Salarda who easily tipped the ball in, giving UV a three-point cushion, 59-56, with 20 seconds remaining.
UP Cebu’s fate was ultimately sealed when they suffered a turnover in the dying seconds of the game. Dizon managed to attempt a Hail Mary triple, but only hit the iron. /dcb
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