CEBU CITY: The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers are just a win away from their 11th basketball title after beating the defending champions University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, 69-53, in Game 2 of the best-of-five championship series for the 2016 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) College basketball tournament Monday night at the Cebu Coliseum.
Unlike Game 1 when the Warriors had a strong first half game, UV started strong and finished even stronger to get a 2-0 lead and a chance to wrap up the series in Game 3 on Thursday.
“It helped us a lot when their outside shots were not falling in. It gave us a lot more room to concentrate our defense on the middle. While we involved everybody in our offense, there were no hurried shots and the players followed our game plan,” UV head coach Gary Cortes said.
USC’s 3-point shooting was nowhere near form as the Warriors only made 1 of 14 and that made shot came from Bryan Divinagracia in the garbage time when UV was already fielding its rookies.
But while coach Rommel Rasmo continued to egg on his players to give their best game, the Warriors struggled in every shot and finished the game hitting only 19 of 66 and made only 18 of 33 from the free throw line.
USC failed to match the energy of the Lancers, who also dominated the rebounds, 56-42.
After allowing USC to take an 8-6 lead, the Lancers then dropped an 11-2 run and never looked back.
UV’s biggest lead was at 23 points, 69-46, in the final 1:51 mark of the game before USC scored the final seven points.
For the second straight game, UV had Jan Monic Soliva leading with 10 points and 14 rebounds, Liberian Bassieru Sackor also had a double-double finish of 11 points and 15 rebounds, while Rey Suerte had 13 points and Sheldon Gahi contributed 10 points.
No USC player scored in double-digits top scorer Ian Tagapan had nine, Congolese Scottie Ntumba finished with eight and Conrad Catapusan and Victor Rabat had seven points each.