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Webmasters, Panthers in crucial match tonight Unbeaten Baby Lancers eye win No.8 in CESAFI

CEBU, Philippines — With a common goal of making it to the round of four, expect a dogfight when the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters and the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers take on each other anew in the 17th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) men's basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum today.

Of the teams in bottom half of the standings, the Webmasters and the Panthers are in the best position to book a semifinal ticket. UC is currently at No.4 with an even 4-4 record followed by USPF with a 3-4 card.

Head-to-head, the Webmasters have the upper hand having crushed the Panthers, 107-95, during their August 26 duel.

That makes their rematch more exciting.

As they seek a repeat performance, the Webmasters must be extra careful against the Panthers, who are coming off a stunning 88-81 upset of the second-ranked University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors just two days ago.

The Webmasters though are confident on their chances with a reliable 6-foot-8 Cameroonian import Frederick Elombi in tow. During their previous meeting, Elombi exploded for 43 points on top of 21 rebounds and five blocks in their 12-point drubbing of the Panthers.

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Also, the Webmasters have shown resilience lately. They gamely recovered from a 21-point deficit, albeit in a losing effort (62-65) against the league front-runner University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers last Sunday.

Aside from Elombi, the Webmasters can also rely on Justine Dacalos, Garex Puerto, John Calvin Jabello, Jayvee de la Cruz and Peter Paul Codilla, among others to jack up their semis bid.

On the other hand, the Panthers will bank mainly on their local crew particularly Lugie Cuyos, Lyndon Colina, Rodelio Cauba, Edwin Villarta, Kenneth Cada and Mike Patalinghug as they seek to stay on course in the tight Final 4 race.

In the juniors division, the UV Baby Lancers, unbeaten in seven games, will try to hurdle one of the remaining two obtacles in their bid for a 9-0 sweep when they go up against the 3-3 Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons at 5:15 p.m.

Under the new league format, the team that can score a sweep in the elimination phase will automatically advance into the championship round.

After the Dragons, the Baby Lancers will have the UC Junior Webmasters for their final assignment on September 17. (FREEMAN)

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