Lancers, Jaguars battle for solo lead in CESAFI
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - August 11, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The University of the Visayas Green Lancers and the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars battle for the solo lead in the collegiate division of the 16th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. men's basketball tournament today at the Cebu Coliseum.

Game time is set at 6:45 p.m.

The Gary Cortes-mentored Lancers opened their campaign with a masterful 69-48 demolition of the Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats, while the Jaguars of coach Jun Noel, despite playing with only 10 players, frustrated the University of Cebu Webmasters, 81-75.

Though lady fortune smiled at them in their season-opening assignment, the Jaguars are faced with yet another tall order against the Lancers who will parade a fighting force that is not only intact but also full of talents.

Not undermining the ability of their Cameroonian import Bassieru Sackour, the Lancers have a vast array of local weaponry led by the awesome foursome of Alfred Codilla, Rey Suerte, Josue Segumpan and Tristan Albina, their sharp-shooting rookie from Dumaguete City.

The likes of Jason Balabag, Michael Macion, Michael Maestre, Jan Silva and Jerome Napao are expected to do the dirty work for the Lancers at the frontcourt. Adding depth to UV's side are Sheldon Gahi, Sean Sajo, Ted Saga and the underdeveloped but promising 6-foot-4 behemoth in Leonard Degoma.

Even if they're heavily favored manpower wise, the Lancers must not in any way take USJ-R lightly.

Short-handed they may be, the Jaguars remain a force to reckon with owing their star-studded core manned by RJ Dinolan, Ricky Peromingan, Jaybie Mantilla, Nelvin Navarra, Juan Miguel Gastador, Albert Catiloc and Victor Nuñez.

The Jaguars also have a towering 6-foot-6 figure in Clifford Jopia and a prized catch from Bacolod City in John Pastias to complete their short-handed lineup this season.

Right after the Lancers-Jaguars duel, the Southwestern University-Phinma Baby Cobras will make their league comeback after 13 years of absence when they take on the Cebu Eastern College Dragons in the 5:15 p.m. opener. (FREEMAN)

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