UV Green Lancers still playing like there’s no tomorrow
Hailing from the University of the Visayas is one of the powerhouse teams in Cesafi, the Green Lancers. With the motto “play like there’s no tomorrow,” the team is gunning hard for a decisive four-peat in the upcoming 19th Cesafi season. They currently hold an unrivaled 13 championships since the tournament’s inception in 2001.
UV’s Basketball Coach Gary Cortez said player injury is his primary concern in the upcoming season. Injuries played a devastating impact during the last season when several key players were put out of action resulting in three straight losses. Despite the morale-dipping defeats, the Green Lancers rallied to win the rest of the season dispatching rival teams in relative ease.
Currently, the Green Lancers hold a grand slam in the Cesafi tournament. It’s the team’s second winning streak since they dominated the first nine seasons of Cesafi, establishing their reputation as a team to be reckoned with.
The Green Lancers’ most notable player to date is Greg Slaughter, who was drafted by the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). He emerged as a star player in 2008 and was named MVP that season. He then led the Green Lancers in defending their championship title in 2009 against the UC Webmasters led by June Mar Fajardo, who now plays for the PBA’s San Miguel Beermen. The two stars would share the MVP award for that year.
The UC Webmasters’ winning streak took a pause in 2010, and the Green Lancers would not reclaim their crown for another four years.
The team is aiming for a decisive four-peat this season despite the departure of two-time Cesafi MVP Rey Suerte, who led the Green Lancers through its three recent championships, as he leaves the team to pursue his last year in the PBA D-League.—John Carlo Cagas, CESAFI Media Bureau