LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The unfinished business of two fierce rivals in Baguio and Benguet will be concluded after more than a year of wait.
Former three-peat winner University of Baguio Cardinals collides with former two time Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League champion Cordillera Career Development College Admirals when the two meets at the last game of the three game showing of the CHESAA Basketball Invitational Games at the latter’s court at 4 p.m. Friday, February 3.
“Finally, magkakaharap na,” said CCDC player Nestor Cuilan, who was hoping for the showdown in the last BBEAL basketball post season games either in the finals or in the battle for third place.
CCDC fell in the second and rubber match to top ranking University of the Cordilleras, while UB also arranged a rubber match only to lose the game through default with 3.4 seconds remaining in the game.
The two had a chance to meet but all but two of UB’s players were suspended for a game practically forfeiting the game against the 2007-2008 champion.
But CCDC comes to the game fully prepared with all its guns intact even as UB goes to the Admirals lair with its top man and point guard Renzae Cosme in the freezer. Cosme was diagnosed with a heart condition and has started rehabilitation said father and assistant coach Rene.
That big shoe left by the littlest Cardinal need to be filled in by Erick Victorio who comes down to point from shooting that limits his offensive thrust.
Coach Joel Flores needs all the adjustments this time including the infusion of new blood especially with Samuel Sena and team captain Aldrienne Puzon who could never play in the league after the ugly 3.4 seconds.
The Admirals, despite a rusty start against league leading La Finn’s Scholatica, come with captain Jayford Pacis, Manuel Felix, Jr. and Paul Cardenio, one of the players protested in the 29th season. And there is big man Louis Michael Apelado, the other half of the complaint, who was unable to return in the BBEAL this year unlike Cardenio.
Victorio, now the chief Cardinal, must get good games from Gino Aquino and the exciting Allan Doral, so far the most reliable among the red shirts. And there is the returning Ivan, who could help him direct traffic, albeit a little rusty after a year off.
Both teams are carrying a 1-1 win-loss slate after CCDC escaped University of Luzon, 87-83, when Pacis exploded with 41 points.
UB, on the other hand, routed University of Northern Philippines, 104-83, to join CCDC, UL and Philippine College of Science and Technology which fell to La Finn’s Sunday.
UNP, which is at last spot with nary a win, faces PCST at the curtain raiser Friday, followed by La Finn’s going up against UL. (PR)