Luck had nothing to do with Suerte, UV Green Lancers' title success in Cesafi
Rey Suerte with the MVP award after leading UV to the Cesafi championship. Ron Tolin

HIS family name may be Suerte but in truth, luck had nothing to do with the success of the 'Flying Carpet' of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) champion the University of the Visayas.

Suerte said hard work, perseverance and humility enabled him and the UV Green Lancers to win the 2016 Cesafi men’s basketball crown on Saturday via 3-1 finals win over the erstwhile titleholders, the University of San Carlos Warriors.

Adding even more glitter to gold was the MVP award that Suerte bagged, his second in as many tournaments.

“We’re just happy that our hard work paid off with a championship,” Suerte, a high-leaping 6-foot-2 wingman recruited from Monkayo, Compostela Valley, said moments after their title-clinching win.

“Every morning, we ran starting from the back gate of UV all the way to Tops. We did that on top of our training in the afternoon,” related Suerte of their daily climb to the popular tourist spot atop the mountains of Cebu.

The victory was sweet revenge for Suerte and the rest of his Green Lancers mates, who had to endure a bitter Game Five loss at the hands of USC in last year’s championship series.

“They’re now feeling what we felt after the game last year. That was pretty hard to endure,” said Suerte.

The 22-year old though, chose to deflect credit despite leading the team in scoring with 14 points in Game Four. After spraining his ankle in the third period, the rest of the Green Lancers stepped up to pick up the cudgels in Suerte’s absence.

“I am just thankful for my teammates that they stepped up when I couldn’t play any more. They’re in fact, always ready when called upon,” Suerte shared.

With a second MVP under his belt, one would think that Suerte would be taking his act to the next level, perhaps the PBA D-League or the pro league itself. However, he said that he has better plans in store.

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“My first priority is to finish school and to graduate with a degree. I will still play next year,” assured Suerte.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @ForgetAboutJay