The University of San Carlos Warriors bounced back after their previous defeat by winning game three of the best-of-five title series against the University of the Visayas Green Lancers, 87-76 on October 15, 2015 at the Cebu Coliseum. The Warrios now take a commanding lead in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) finals series, 2-1.
Kicking off the first quarter with an undeniably close fight against the Green Lancers, the USC Warriors managed to end with an 8-point advantage as three-point shots came pouring down from the corners, including a buzzer-beating trey courtesy of Victor Rabat.
The Green Lancer’s import, Steve Akomo, was injured during a collision against fellow import from the USC Warriors, Shooster Olago, failing to stop the latter from earning a point, which was followed by his unfortunate hard fall.
UV’s star point guard, Jun Manzo III, meanwhile, proved that his chin injury would not stop him from what he has been doing the entire series — penetrating the Warriors’ defense with a couple of and-1 baskets. Manzo managed to escalate and become a driving force, enabling the Green Lancers to earn a 4-point lead against the Warriors in the second quarter that ended with a score of 42-38.
The Warriors refused to tone down their persistence despite the Green Lancers’ lead. During the second half, the Warriors’ supporters booed countless times as the game became increasingly physical between the two teams. The Warriors then got back up and ended the third quarter with an 8-point advantage, 62-54. Thanks to a sudden outburst led by USC’s Ian Tagapan and the defensive prowess of guard Giovanni Laguyo.
During the last quarter, Olago took the game to a higher intensity. He proved himself unstoppable, gaining majority of the points, which led him to the Best Player of the Game award, having scored 32 points along with 17 boards during the entire game. 17 of his points were from the third quarter alone.
The Warriors could be hailed champions this Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. or the Lancers can extend the series and force a fifth and deciding game.