Cesafi Finals: UV’s Cortes expects tough finals battle against UC
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Multi-titled Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) basketball coach Gary Cortes of the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers foresees a great battle against their rivals, the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, in their men’s basketball finals rematch scheduled on December 12, 2023 at the Cebu Coliseum.
UV’s Cortes, a four-time Cesafi men’s basketball champion, will make his seventh trip to the league’s finals, while eyeing a back-to-back championship title.
But he said that he was expecting a great battle against the Webmasters in the Best-of-Three finals series that will start on Tuesday.
“We’re expecting a good game sa finals. This is my seventh time to play in the Cesafi finals, pero kadtong mga previous finals appearance nako, mura to ug unexpected part,” said Cortes.
UV finished the elimination round of Cesafi Season 23 with a perfect 10-0 (win-loss) record to grab a twice-to-beat perk in the semifinals.
Still, Cortes said that they had to give their best in their every game because the teams competing this season have fielded better and more competitive rosters.
UV went on to easily beat the fourth seed, University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 69-49, last December 5, extending their unbeaten run to 11-0.
“Kini nga finals para nako, sakto nami sa preparation. Nitrabaho na akong mga players, ug dako kaayo ko ug pasalamat sa ilahang mga efforts,” said Cortes.
UV won the Cesafi Season 22 title last year by sweeping the finals series against UC. They reclaimed the title that they lost to the 2019 Cesafi champions, Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras, and were never seen in action for more than two years due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Never be complacent
The UV Green Lancers also faced the UC Webmasters last November 11 in Cesafi’s “Battle of the Undefeated” wherein UV snapped UC’s erstwhile unbeaten 8-0 record, 67-55.
Despite beating UC by a wide margin, Cortes isn’t complacent against the former’s roster.
“UC they have the size, they have all the weapons to give us a good game,” said Cortes.
Most of UC’s players from last year’s finals team are still intact. This includes shooter Jasper Pacana, bigmen in Mark Ecal, Jhiey Paraldo, and Michael Diaz. They also have pesky defenders in Roosevelt Jelianggao and Zareygel Rosano, Danie Boy Lapiz, and Regie Dajab.
UV, for its part, isn’t short of firepower. Cortes has the services of four Mindanaoan aces in Kent Ivo Salarda, Ivan Alsola, Raul Gentallan, and King Orcullo. He also has Jimpaul Amistoso, PJ Taliman, Froilan Maglasang, and AJ Sacayan.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.