CEBU CITY — Against an NLEX Road Warriors squad loaded with veterans, Cesafi champion University of the Visayas strugged to make their shots but refused to back down.
The Green Lancers also made sure they would be remembered by the pros.
Elbows were thrown, blood was drawn and verbal banter came aplenty in a game that the Road Warriors handily won, 102-50, on Thursday in the Recoletos Invitational Cup at the University of San Jose-Recoletos Coliseum.
UV head coach Gary Cortes said the PBA players were the aggressors.
“The boys just stood their ground. Besides, they were the ones who initiated the physical contact,” said Cortes, himself no stranger to physical games during his playing years with the Green Lancers.
Action heated up as early as the first quarter when UV guard Alfred Codilla and NLEX’s Carlo Lastimosa figured in a shoving match that earned them a technical foul each.
Lastimosa later suffered a bloodied lip as he got fouled hard on a drive down the lane.
Cortes said that he just instructed his wards to play physical and not be starstruck with the pros.
“I told them in our huddle that they shouldn’t be scared. NLEX wanted the game to be physical and our boys were more than happy to oblige. It was a lot of fun for them and the crowd as well,” Cortes said.
Veteran Enrico Villanueva, meanwhile, engaged Cortes in some trash talk.
“A player of mine got the best of him during one play and I playfully told him na ‘Matanda ka na.’ He replied “Mayaman na ako, coach. Ikaw, andyan pa rin’,” narrated Cortes.