UV head coach Belano not giving up on Lancers despite down 0-2
As the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers prepares to make their final stand against the rampaging Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras tomorrow, head coach Felix “Donbel” Belano could not hide his frustrations with his team’s lousy performances that have left them in a 0-2 hole in the best-of-five championship series of the 13th Cesafi men’s basketball tournament.
So far, the Lancers have struggled to solve the Cobras’ puzzle and have not won a single game against their bitter rivals since Game Three of last year’s championship series.
To date, UV has lost to SWU five straight times, the last one being a 60-71 debacle in Game Two that came on the heels of its 52-64 defeat in the series-opener.
With all these riding on the shoulders of the proud Lancers—a team that went unchallenged in this league’s first nine seasons—vexation is setting in especially on Belano, who took over the squad following the glory years of former head coach Elmer Cabahug.
The last time UV won the title was in 2009, the last year Greg Slaughter played for the Lancers.
“Nakaka-frustrate but it’s not over yet,” Belano said. “Maraming adjustments na kailangan gawin.”
Belano’s frustration stems from his players’ apparent lack of urgency in this series. “Basketball is for intelligent and driven people. Importante ang character. Tanan pwede nako matudlo sa mga players sa akoa experience as one pero ang character and desire, mahirap hugutin,” Belano added.
And while he acknowledged that he and his team were facing an uphill battle, he remained confident of his team’s chances and challenged them to play like true warriors.
“I will continue to believe. Lisud pero pwede mahitabo. A true warrior finishes the battle until the last breath. It’s not over until it’s over. I challenge them to rise to the occasion,” Belano said.
On the other hand, SWU remains wary of letting up against a dangerous UV squad that can awaken from its slumber at any point. Head coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba reminded his troops that they need three wins to claim the crown, not just two.
“The championship is not ours until we win one more game. So in a best-of-five series, we need three wins. We expect Game Three to be the hardest,” Alcoseba said.
He also reminded his boys to play as a team. “We need to execute our game plan. With regards to Monbert (Arong) and Mac (Tallo), it was expected that they will at some point produce. But I want the bench to step up also. We need to have a total team effort for us to win the third game.”
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