Talisay Aquastars up for tougher challenge but primed and ready to defend Governor’s Cup title
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - February 15, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — On the heels of their resounding success in the Gullas Legacy Cup recently, the Talisay Aquastars are faced with an even tougher challenge and that is to defend their throne in the Cebu Governor’s Cup starting next month.

 

Two weeks ago, the Aquastars bagged the championship of the Samsam Gullas Cup 3.0 Cebu 1st District Inter-Cities and Municipalities Developmental Basketball Tournament with an undefeated 8-0 record.

They capped their dominance with an average of 23-point thrashing of the Carcar Lechoneros in their best-of-three finals series.

Talisay coach Rey Michael Guerra heaped his wards with praise, crediting their exemplary work ethics and winning attitude for their amazing campaign in the six-week tiff that earned an P80,000 paycheck.

“To our players in Team Talisay Aquastars, keep up the good work especially your good attitude on and off the court, and your will to win. You have proven that teamwork will prevail in even game. You are all very coachable and I’m proud of it,” said Gurrea, a former mainstay of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars under coach Yayoy Alcoseba in the ‘80s when the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) was still known as the Cebu Amateur Athletic Association (CAAA).

But the Aquastars won’t just sit on their laurels knowing that a difficult mission is up ahead for them in the Cebu Governor’s Cup, which will kick off on March 9.

“Hope we can continue our good run in the forthcoming 2019 Governor’s Cup,” said Guerra, adding that they will practically parade the same lineup that swept all their assignments in the Legacy Cup.

Led by regular season Most Valuable Player Jay Deiparine and Finals MVP Raffy Bacasmas, the Talisay also has Clyde Keaton Taburnal, John Elmer Villabrille, Michael Tabay Jr. and Ronan Briones at their disposal.

The Aquastars are expected to get stronger for their Governor’s Cup sortie with the addition of Kendrick Abarquez.

Gurrea has summoned Abarquez back in their fold to fill in the void left by Elmer Echavez, the MVP in the Governor’s Cup last year but is no longer eligible to play this time being a college varsity already.

Pressed on their chances, Gurrea expressed confidence of keeping their crown although he admits it would be tall order for them knowing that their rivals have also beefed up their rosters.

“Actually, we have a good chance of defending our title based on my experience in the Governor’s Cup last year. Also, majority of our players are still qualified to play. We just have to try our luck knowing that the other teams have also toughened up their respective lineups,” ended Gurrea.

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