ALTHOUGH they are already assured of places in the semifinal round, the University of San Carlos Warriors and the University of Cebu Webmasters are expected to battle tooth and nail as if their lives are hanging in the balance.
They will face each other in the final elimination round game in the 2017 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Basketball Season at 4 p.m. today at the Cebu Coliseum.
But while USC, holding a 7-4 win-loss record, and UC. with a 6-5 card, will be going for each other’s head, top seed University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers and the second seed University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars will end the elimination round against softer opponents.
The Jaguars (8-3) will play the No. 6 team University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) at 1 p.m. and the Green Lancers (10-1) will play the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats (1-10) at 2:30pm.
Both the Warriors and the Webmasters are already assured of a slot in the Final 4. But the final ranking is yet to be determined.
The Warriors and the Webmasters are both eyeing to finish No. 3 as it would mean they will be play an all-local squad Jaguars in the semifinal round. The No. 4 team will play the Lancers. UV and USJ-R will enjoy the twice-to- beat edge against their rivals in the semifinal round.
In their Aug. 20 meeting, USC defeated the Webmasters 67-62 in overtime.
But the Warriors were never the same since then. In the second round of elimination, USC lost three of the five games, including an 88-81 loss to the Panthers last Sept. 12 while they struggled in their two victories against CIT-U and the Southwestern University Cobras.
The Webmasters, on the other hand, also had their own share of ups and downs, losing its first two games in the second round before winning a controversial match against USPF. They bowed to USJ-R last Saturday and won over the Wildcats last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Cesafi has released the participants of the All-Star Games on Sunday.
The South Team will be composed of players from UV, USJ-R and CITU. It will be composed of Rey Suerte, Jerome Napao, Josue Segumpan, Monic Soliva, Bassieru Sackor, Jaybie Mantilla, Ralph Dinolan, Tricky Peromingan, Nelvin Navarra, Albert Catiloc, Jamcerson Sable, Mark Kong, Mariel Muñez, John King and Krisner Jabinez to be coached by Bembem Alcaraz.
The North Team is made up of UC, USC, USPF and SWU with Justine Dacalos, John Calvin Jabello, Garciano Puerto, Frederick Elombi Ngoh and Joven Tagudin, Ar-G Araw-Araw, John Reel Saycon, Lucky Ecarma, Victor Rabat, Julius Cadavis, Clyde Avancena, Lyndon Colina, Shaquille Imperial, Reeve Ugsang and Mark Racho, with Bong Abad to call the shots. (RCM)