CEBU CITY — The number 13 seems to be lucky as far as University of the Visayas’ march to the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. men’s basketball throne is concerned.
The Green Lancers booked a convincing 13-point victory over University of San Jose Recoletos to complete a rare three-peat in Game 3 of their best-of-three title series late Monday at the Cebu Coliseum.
It was also their 13th title, turning what is regarded as unlucky number into something significant for the school.
But winning over a powerhouse squad like the Jaguars wasn’t a mere stroke of luck.
After a low-scoring first period, the Lancers banked on their championship experience to take control and gain a double-digit lead.
A three-pointer by Jafet Claridad gave the Lancers their biggest lead at 13, 49-36, midway through the third period before Nigerian Segamars Enewike, Fletcher Galvez and Juan Miguel Gastador towed the Jaguars to within a basket, 48-50, in the 2:29 mark of the third.
Another 11-0 run by the Jaguars tied the count midway through the fourth. Claridad, however, nailed a clutch trey followed by Rey Suerte sank a basket to seal the victory for the Lancers.
Suerte, who was named Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year, led the Lancers with 16 points while import Bassieru Sackor and Jancork Cabahug chipped in 14 and 11 markers, respectively.
Enewike, Galvez and Nicole John Ubalde had 12 points apiece while Jaybie Mantilla contributed 11 points for the Jaguars, who lost all their five championship encounters with the Lancers since 2002.