Jaguars ready to roar in 28th BBEAL season

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Friday, August 29, 2014


UNIVERSITY of the Cordilleras is set to renew its hunt for glory as they seek redemption in the men’s basketball of the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League season 28.

With the collegiate sports meet set to open today at the Cordillera Career Development Center, with Baguio College Technology as host, the Jaguars will lean on the leadership of five other senior players in the team.

“We don’t want to start the season thinking we are the runner up last year. We will get this season as a new cycle and we will start at the tip off as if we are still the champions,” UC coach Marcelino Agnawa told SunStar Baguio.

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The Jaguars, who won their back to back championship titles in 2011 and 2012, will put their game face on to redeem their lost glory after losing the crown to the University of Baguio last year.

“We are in the process of reviewing and developing young players which are expected to be the face of UC,” Agnawa said.

Left from the powerhouse line up are big men Mark Dulay and Jefferson Vargas, shooting guards Jonathan Valdez and Michael Vincent Zapanta, including second year player Jun Rey Buenaventura, who was also among the key players during the 2012 title defense.

“Dulay being the most experienced of them all is expected to become the leader of the team, while Vargas, being the big man, must bring out his confidence to dominate under the ring. Everyone else will be a big surprise to the competing teams.

Despite losing dominance as Chad Russel Villanueva and Jopson Dail, together with triggerman John Paul Jularbal and Andrew Payas graduating, UC will still aim for a new finals appearance this year.

“We are not promising anything for this time, many of our players are quite new and inexperienced. It is just recently that we were able to get enough gel sa mga practices naming but as we near the eliminations round, I believe we can perform well enough,” Agnawa said.

UC has been rated as a waning squad for the coming season but the challenge to recreate its Cinderella story waits to unfold in season 28.

Boasted to be among the big three universities together with UB and Saint Louis University Navigators, the Jaguars will have to draw more juice as host BCT Atoms is reportedly beefing up its line up with more prolific competitors.

UC will chase this year’s defending UB Cardinals, who will seek its 23rd crown in the league, which was founded in the early 90s as the Baguio-Benguet Collegiate Athletic Association.

The largest collegiate sports association in the region is expected to draw thousands of local sports fans from the different member schools in its opening ceremonies.

Other teams seeing action for this year’s men’s basketball competition include the Philippine Military Academy Cavaliers, two-time champs CCDC Admirals, Benguet State University Wildcats and Pines City Colleges Warriors.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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