UC sets up a finals rematch with UV after Webmasters tame Panthers in Cesafi semis
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters booked a finals rematch against the defending champions, University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) Season 23 collegiate basketball tournament.
This was after the UC Webmasters booted out the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USP-F) Panthers, 83-72, in the semifinals on Thursday, December 7, at the Cebu Coliseum.
Rosano leading scorer of UC Webmasters
Former Southwestern University (SWU) Cobra, Zareygel Rosano, finished with a game-high 19 points to lead the No. 2 seed Webmasters in beating the No. 3 seed Panthers in their semifinals rematch.
The returning Jhiey Paraldo tallied 13 points, while the ever-reliable forward Luther Leonard added 12 markers.
USPF’s shooter Winston Bingil Jr. had 18 points, while team captain Alje Mendez and point guard Peter John Peteros each scored 14 points in their losing efforts.
Last season, USPF was the No. 2 seed and got beaten twice by then No. 3 UC in their semifinals showdown. UC went on to face the Green Lancers, but got swept in two games of their best-of-three finals series.
USP-F’s good start
USPF got off to a good start after finishing the first period with a 20-18, lead.
However, the Webmasters responded with a blistering 27-7 run to grab a commanding 18-point lead, 45-27, in halftime.
They went on to build their biggest lead of 21, 54-33, but the Webmasters became complacent and forgot USPF became notoriously known this season for their late-game comebacks.
The Panthers didn’t disappoint after unloading a 16-2 run, anchoring on the efforts of Bingil, Mendez, and John Michael Maglasang to cut the lead to just five, 51-56 in the start of the fourth period.
UC stopped a USP-F comeback
Paraldo who came off from an injury in the elimination round quickly stopped the bleeding with a layup, 58-51. But USPF’s Kent Gato responded with a corner trey. It brought them to withing four points, 54-58, midway in the final period.
UC sensing a USPF comeback retaliated with a 7-0 blitz to bring their lead back to double digits, 65-54. They went on stretching it to a 13-point lead, 69-56, after Leonard’s three-point play and maintained it all the way to the final sound of the buzzer.
UV and UC’s much-awaited finals rematch is slated on December 12, 2023, at the same venue.
On the other hand, USPF and the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors will battle for the third place honors on Sunday, December 10.
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