CEBU teams will start their bids against strong contenders as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ (SBP) National Juniors Championship unfolds this morning at the University of San Carlos gym.

The University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars (USJ-R), University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers and host team University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors will try to bring the first ever title to Cebu against teams from Luzon, National Capital Region, Visayas and Mindanao.

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The Jaguars will be joined by the Holy Child School (HCS) of Davao City, the Divine World College (DWC) of Dagupan City, St. Clare College (SCC) of NCR, the Iloilo Central Commercial High School (ICCHS) and the Sacred Heart College (SHC) of Lucena in the 17-Under competition.

UV and wild card entry USC will face Ateneo de Zamboanga (AdZ), University of San Agustin (USA) of Iloilo City and NCR representative Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) in the 19-Under championship.

The Jaguars will open the hostilities against DWC at 9 a.m. today followed by the SHC vs. SCC game at 10:30.

SBP deputy executive director Bernie Atienza said the participants were those who topped the area eliminations held late last year.

“There are no favorites in this competition. Patatagan na lang ito ng puso and determination,” said Atienza during yesterday’s press conference.

UV coach Delfin Pepito Jr. also said his team is not 100 percent ready since they just joined another competition.

“We just had a successful campaign in the Cviraa, so we lack preparation for this tournament but we will give our best to win this,” said Pepito.