SWU-Phinma, UC seek finals spots in Cesafi

Jonas Panerio

THE top-ranked Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma Cobras and the University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters will try to make their way to the finals as they take on their upstart opponents in their respective divisions in the semifinal round of the 2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

SWU-Phinma has not missed a beat ever since winning the preseason title and have gone on to clinch the top seed in the collegiate division after finishing the elimination round with a 9-2 win-loss card.

The Cobras are seeking a win that would put them in the finals for the first time since they won the title back in 2014. Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Cobras get their first shot on Tuesday.

However, SWU-Phinma head coach Mike Reyes remains wary of their semifinal opponent — the University of San Carlos Warriors — who the veteran head coach pegged as a worthy adversary because of their “motion pick and roll.”

“Their 4 and 5 continuously sets ball screens which means we have to keep on changing our defensive rules,” assessed Reyes.

The amount of practice time would play a key role in their upcoming match-up, said Reyes.

“Nagawa naman namin in the last game we played pero we had a couple of days practice then. For this game, today lang namin na practice,” added Reyes.

(We did it in the last game we played but we had a couple of days practice then. For this game, we just practiced today.)

On the other side of the fence, USC head coach Bong Abad explained that his players must be on their toes if they are to pull off a win and send this semifinal to a winner-take-all game.

“We have to correct our errors and improve on our lapses. We have to limit their production. On our side, we must convert our high percentage shots,” said Abad.

In the high school division, the reigning champions UC is seeking to make a return trip to the finals but would have to topple a gritty University of Southern Philippines Foundation Baby Panthers squad that is being led by its tough court general, Kyle Ochavo.