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Cesafi 2023 finals

For UV coach Gary Cortes, Game 1 loss to UC was good wake-up call

By: Glendale Rosal - CDN Digital | December 13,2023 - 03:28 PM

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UV head coach Gary Cortes during Game one of the Cesafi men’s basketball Finals. | Sugboanong Kodaker/FB

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers may have lost Game 1 of the Cesafi men’s basketball finals against the upset-seeking University of Cebu Webmasters, but head coach Gary Cortes knows his team can recover from the loss.

The Green Lancers, the defending champion who were unbeaten in the season prior to Game 1, fell short against the Webmasters, 66-63, on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.

READ: Cesafi: UC stuns UV in Game 1 of men’s basketball finals

Cortes, however, said the team isn’t that worried just yet.

“The morale is still very high. Of course, naa man gyud nang upset feeling with the loss, considering we won 11 straight games. Ing-ana gyud na ang basketball. Wala pa mahatag ang trophy, so we still have a chance,” Cortes said after Game 1.

(The morale is still very high. Of course, there’s that upset feeling with the loss, considering we won 11 straight games. But that’s  how basketball is. The trophy hasn’t been given yet, so we still have a chance.)

Game 2 of the Cesafi men’s basketball finals between UC and UV is set on Thursday, December 14.

READ MORE: UC coach after Game 1 win over UV: Job’s not done

UV erased a 12-point third quarter deficit in Game 1 and even took the lead in the thrilling fourth period, but couldn’t hold on against the Webmasters.

The 14-time Cesafi men’s basketball champions had Bukidnon-native Kent Ivo Salarda topscoring for them in the Game 1 loss with 23 points.

For Cortes, it was just a temporary setback.

“We are confident to bounce back after this game,” Cortes said.

UV outrebounded in Game 1

“Of course, basketball man ni. Naay mo daog, naay mapildi. Ako sila gi ingnan nga gituyo ni sa kahigayunan nga at least ma awaken ta nga we are a beatable team, dili ta ma ingon nga undefeated pirmi,” Cortes said.

(Of course this is basketball. There will be winners, there will be losers.  I told them that this is a reminder that we are a beatable team and that we aren’t going to be undefeated always.)

According to Cortes, they need to improve their rebounding if they want to get back at the Webmasters of coach Kernn Sesante.

“Ang amo lang gyud kulang sa dula, gilupig mi sa rebound department. Offensively, defensively okay ra. Didto ra gyud mi gilupig. Kinahanglan namo i-improve among pagpaningkamot to get more rebounds,” Cortes said.

(We were beaten in the rebounding department. Offensively, defensively we were okay. We were beaten in that department. We need to improve and work harder to get more rebounds.)

Cortes is eyeing his 5th title with UV since taking over in 2015.


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TAGS: basketball, Cebu, Cesafi, Gary Cortes, UV

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