Freeman Cebu Sports

Warriors take on Jaguars with third victory in sight

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

Games today (Cebu Coliseum)

5:15 p.m. USJ-R vs CIT-U (jrs.)

6:45 p.m. USJ-R vs USC (srs.)

CEBU, Philippines - Defending champions University of San Carlos Warriors gun for their third straight win when they take on the Mighty Sports-backed University of San-Jose-Recoletos Jaguars in the 16th Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. men's basketball tournament at the Cebu Coliseum today.

After losing their season-opening assignment against the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras last August 6, 54-68, the Warriors of coach Rommel Rasmo rebounded with back-to-back victories capped by a 71-36 massacre of the out of sync Cebu Institute of Technology-University Wildcats last Tuesday night.

This time, the Warriors will be tested by the gritty Jaguars in their 6:45 p.m. battle.

Playing with only a 10-man roster, the Jaguars may be short-handed but it doesn't reflect in the manner they deal with their rivals.

In their two setbacks out of four games against the University of the Visayas Green Lancers and the SWU Cobras, the Jaguars pushed their heavyweight foes to the limit before kissing defeat in the end.

That earned the Jaguars of coach Jun Noel a certain measure of respect from their rivals, something that the Warriors must be wary of.

With the 6-foot-8 Congolese import Scothy Ntumba patrolling their frontcourt backed up by reliable locals in Ian Jeffeson Tagapan, Victor Manuel Rabat, Kevin Oleodo, Dolan Adlawan and Gio Laguyo, the Warriors definitely have an advantage over the Jaguars.

The only problem is that how the Warriors would translate it to success against the the hard-fighting Jaguars, who depend heavily on Jaybie Mantilla, RJ Dinolan, Juan Miguel Gastador, Ricky Peromingan, Nelvin Navarra, Victor Munez and Albert Catiloc among their best offensive weapons.

In the opening match under the juniors division scheduled at 5:15 p.m., the USJ-R Baby Jaguars will try to score their second victory in four starts as they go up against the CIT-U Wildkittens, who are still winless in three games. (FREEMAN)

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