Defending champions UV, UC fight for survival today

Jonas Panerio

WHO will get the last tickets to the championship round in both the high school and collegiate divisions of the 2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) basketball tournament? Those questions would soon have answers on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 16, as the University of the Visayas Green Lancers put their three-year title reign on the line against the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters at 4 p.m. at the Cebu Coliseum.

But before that, the UC (Baby Webmasters would be facing off against the University of Southern Philippines Foundation at 2:30 p.m. for the right to advance to the finals against the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu. UC is also the defending champion in the high school division.

Coaches from both UV and UC had very little to say regarding their upcoming rubbermatch, which was made possible after the Green Lancers pulled off an 81-62 win over the Webmasters last Thursday. UC is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, thus the deciding game on Saturday, with the winner moving on to battle the Southwestern University-Phinma for the collegiate crown.

“I just told the players to play hard and enjoy the game. It was just the same instructions that I gave them for Thursday’s game,” said UV head coach Gary Cortes.

UV’s top gun Jancork Cabahug delivered the goods as he produced a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds while rookie Gabriel Cometa gave a lift off the bench, tallying 16 markers.

But while the Green Lancers stars made their mark, UC’s could not as Shane Menina managed just 12 points on a 5-of-15 shooting and committed a ghastly 10 turnovers. Tosh Sesay, UC’s powerhouse from Sierra Leone, scored just seven.

“It’s win or go home,” said UC assistant coach Rocky Alcoseba.

In the high school division, USPF guns for their very first finals appearance in the high school division. The Baby Panthers got their shot at history after they edged UC, 82-75, in double-overtime last Tuesday.