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bid for perfect season

UV Green Lancers make Cesafi Finals anew

By: Glendale Rosal - CDN Digital | December 06,2023 - 06:30 AM

UV Cesafi finals

Players from the UV Green Lancers sing their school hymn after eliminating the USC Warriors in the semifinals of the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. CDN Digital photo | Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers are back in the finals of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc (Cesafi) men’s basketball tournament.

The Green Lancers continued their unbeaten run in the 23rd season of the Cesafi after crushing the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 69-49, in the semifinals on Tuesday evening, December 5, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum here.

UV, thus, advances to the Cesafi finals, where it will meet either the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters or the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers, who lock horns in the other semifinals pairing. 

By making it to the Cesafi finals again, UV coach Gary Cortes will be aiming for his fifth crown with the Green Lancers.

UV within reach of perfect Cesafi season

Since taking the coaching chores in 2015, Cortes has led UV to six straight Finals appearances before this stint, winning four championships along the way. This will be his seventh straight appearance in the Cesafi finals and what makes this interesting is that UV can actually go undefeated this season. 

UV has won all 11 games so far dating back to the elimination round. It just needs two more wins against its finals opponent to go perfect this Cesafi season. 

Meanwhile, the Warriors, who had a unique path to the semis, bowed out of the competition.

USC qualified for the semifinals after being elevated from fifth to fourth place in the final standings of the elimination round. 

READ: Cesafi final four: USC in, USJ-R out

This was after the Cesafi forfeited three won games by the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) from their final team standings due to eligibility issues of one of its players, EJ Agbong.

USJ-R finished the elimination round at fourth but they were relegated to sixth after Cesafi forfeited the three games where Agbong played in. 

Agbong later admitted his mistakes and sent a letter of apology to the Cesafi.

READ MORE: Agbong apologizes, regrets falsifying TOR

Kent Ivo Salarda topscored for UV with 20 points while Ivan Alsola added 18 markers.

The Green Lancers got off to a strong 14-4 start but the Warriors managed to fight back and just trail by five points, 24-29, after the first half.

After a gutsy run by the Warriors of head coach Paul Joven that pulled them to within 34-38, the Green Lancers responded with a scorching 11-0 run that put them ahead by 15 points.

READ MORE: UV Green Lancers’ lineup for Cesafi 2023

There was no looking back for UV as it cruised to the easy win en route to another Cesafi finals appearance. 

Bryle Puntual finished with a game-high 24 points for USC.

/bmjo

READ MORE: Cesafi HS semis: UV Baby Lancers rout USJ-R, forces do-or-die duel

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TAGS: basketball, Cebu, Cesafi, UV

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