CEBU CITY — University of the Visayas completed its fantastic run to the Finals, dropping top-seed University of San Jose-Recoletos, 68-51, in its do-or-die semifinal game in the Chooks-to-Go Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) Season 23 high school basketball tournament on Saturday at the Cebu Coliseum here.
The odds were stacked against the Baby Lancers. Still, they showed immense grit and resiliency to erase the Baby Jaguars’ twice-to-beat advantage and advance to the finals for the first time since 2018.
Roderick Cambarijan and Kent Castro delivered one clutch basket after another in the fourth period to keep USJ-R at bay.
Camberijan and Castro had 20 points apiece.
John dela Torre also scored in double-figures with 12.
Up by just nine at the end of the third, Camberijan scored two free-throws and a triple to bring UV’s lead up to 14, 57-43.
USJ-R fought back and pulled within eight, 51-59, after a putback by big man Alcher Obra with 5:35 left in the game.
But UV held their ground and retaliated with nine unanswered points — a pull-up jumper from Castro, a three-pointer by Kenneth Cole, and transition baskets from Castro and Cole to end the game in the Baby Lancers’ favor.
Obra led USJ-R with 15 points. — JP