Cesafi 2023: Baby Lancers, UCLM eye high school final slots via upset

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | December 08,2023 - 06:38 PM

cesafi, basketball, semis

(from left-right) Revo Lao, Jelo Mar Rota, Kyle Rueda, and Ismael Coldura. | Photos from Sugbuanong Kodaker

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Green Lancers and the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu Mandaue (UCLM) are eyeing huge upsets in their respective do-or-die Cesafi semifinal games tomorrow, December 9.

Aside from gunning for upset wins, the two underdog squads will also be targeting a finals slot in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) Season 23 high school basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum. 

The Baby Green Lancers and the Webmasters shocked the twice-to-beat teams, University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars and the defending champions, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles in their first semifinal games, respectively.

The No. 4 seed Baby Green Lancers defeated the top-seeded Baby Jaguars, 53-42, on Tuesday, while the No. 3 Webmasters escaped with a 55-52, win against the second seed Magis Eagles on Thursday evening. 

Their do-or-die game will be tomorrow with UV and USJ-R playing first at 12:00 noon followed by the  UCLM-SHS-AdC showdown at 2:00 PM. 

UV assistant coach Ronald Bucao said their key in toppling the top-seeded Baby Jaguars will be their defensive tenacity which they displayed during their win last Tuesday. 

“Gikan mi napildi sa USJ-R kay pero close fight to nga duwa. Ni relax mi pag ka fourth quarter, nawala among depensa, wala na namo na sustain,” Bucao explained. 

“Pero sa kadaugan namo nila, halos tanan ni communicate defensively, ang game plan namo nabuhat gyud. Kaluoy sa Ginoo nakuha gyud namo ang kadaugan. Siguro ang among depensa, kinahanglan ma sustain namo, labi na ang communication, magkasinabot mi tanan sa game plan, mao gihapon among buhaton sa among nabuhat karon.”

READ: CESAFI 2023: Bahay fires 32 points as Magis Eagles stretch winning streak to four


For UCLM’s head coach Calib Gawangon, they must contain high school basketball star Jared Bahay from scoring big in their game tomorrow. 

According to Gawangon, their main concern is Bahay who is expected to avenge their heartbreaking defeat on Thursday evening. Bahay only finished with 12 points during that game, while his team was horrible from the free throw area converting only 14 of their 43 attempts. 

Also, Gawangon’s bench delivered a telling blow against the Magis Eagles with 32 points against the latter’s 13. 

“I appreciate the attitude and the efforts of the boys, but it’s all about the breaks of the game. Ang breaks sa katapusan sa amo-a lang kay nag effort mi ug maayo sa fourth quarter,” said Gawangon who steered UCLM to the semifinals and a historic 9-0 feat in their franchise. 

READ: UC sets up a finals rematch with UV after Webmasters tame Panthers in Cesafi semis

Besides that, Gawangon also credited his big men for dominating the painted area both defensively and offensively. 

“Sa painted area mi ni dako ug labaw nila, ni respond gyud ang mga boys sa fourth quarter. Mao nang hopefully, paninguhaon ni namo nga makuha namo ang kadaugan, we also pray makadaog mi,” said Gawangon.

“Pero kinahanglan gyud namo ma sustain namo among game. Ang amo lang dili maka double-figures si Bahay (Jared). Given na ang talent ni Bahay, at the same time, maka avoid ta nga ilahang bigs maka score sa painted area. As far as confidence is concerned, we are 100% confident, but we can’t predict the outcome of the game, so we will give our best.” 

READ: Kevin Quiambao is UAAP Finals MVP after leading La Salle title run

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TAGS: Cesafi basketball

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