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Coach Jun Pepito proud of Baby Lancers achievement in Cesafi Season 23

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | December 16,2023 - 05:02 PM

The UV Baby Lancers pose for a photo after one of their games in the Cesafi.

UV Baby Lancers. | CDN File photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Delfin “Jun” Pepito Jr. has nothing but praises for his University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Lancers who gave the Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu one hell of a fight in their winner-take-all Game 3 of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) high school basketball finals on Friday, December 15, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.

The Baby Lancers, also a seven-time Cesafi high school champion, capped off their Cesafi Season 23 campaign as the first-runners-up after narrowly losing to the Magis Eagles, 55-58 in Game 3. 

UV was able to grab a 49-46 lead in the second half, giving the Magis Eagles a scare, but the latter’s scoring surge in crunch time and denied them of what was suppose to be their eighth Cesafi high school title.

Still, Pepito told the Baby Lancers to hold their heads high for giving a great fight since the semifinals.

“Wala ko magmahay bisan second mi, kung itapad nimo sila akong mga players sa Sacred Heart, mas dagko gyud ang ilaha, pero nisukol akong mga players bisan ing-ana sila ka gagmay. Hapit pa mi matagak sa elimination round, pero ni kumbati gyud sila sa championship,” Pepito told CDN Digital.

UV took Game one with a stunning 62-54 victory, but the Magis Eagles responded with a lopsided Game 2 victory, 80-65, that forced Friday evening’s Game 3. 

John Dela Torre and Roderick Cambarijan paced the Baby Lancers with 15 and 14 points, respectively. 

Before reaching the finals, the Baby Lancers staged a huge upset when they toppled the top-seed University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars by winning two games straight in the semifinals, denying the latter of taking advantage of their twice-to-beat perk.

They even almost missed making it into the semis due to the winner-over-the-other rule of Cesafi.

However, the Baby Lancers managed to punch their way into the final four after finishing the elimination round with seven wins and three losses, beating the City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy (CBSAA) Trailblazers, 60-53, in their last remaining game to grab the fourth seed. 

“Proud gihapon kaayo ko sa mga bata,” Pepito said while sitting on the bench, watching the Magis Eagles celebrate during the awarding. 

“Okay ra man gyud among duwa, sa ending nakaigo sila ug duha ka tres, kadto sad nilabaw mi ug three points, wala namo na diskartehan ug maayo pag maintain ato nga labaw,” added Pepito. 

The Baby Lancers will be missing two key players next season in Vincent Aying and Ismael Coldura. Both already served their final playing year for the Baby Lancers and would likely suit up for the UV men’s basketball team. 

“Dili na intact, si Aying ug Coldura, mo duwa na sa men’s. Mangita nami ug mga big men, pero kaning nahabilin nako nga players mo kumbati gihapon ni sila,” Pepito concluded. 


UV Baby Lancers complete Cesafi Junior final four cast

UV upsets top seed USJ-R, marches to Cesafi high school finals

UV outplays SHS-AdC, takes game one of Cesafi high school finals

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TAGS: Baby Green Lancers, Cesafi, high school, Magis Eagles

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