THE Southwestern University (SWU-Phinma) Cobras will lean on their momentum when they clash with formidable teams in the 2019 Mayor Kim Lope A. Asis Invitational Basketball Tournament starting on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at the Lope Asis Memorial Gymnasium in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

The Cobras are currently one a three-game win streak on a ongoing 2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Partners Cup. The Vincare Pharma-backed SWU-Phinma will take a quick break from Cesafi as they test the waters in the four-day pocket tournament in Bayugan City.

SWU-Phinma will get tested on Wednesday with a double-header game in the tournament organized as part of Bayugan City’s 12th Charter Day Anniversary and the 60th Fiesta celebration.

SWU-Phinma will battle HMMED Enterprise/Cagayan de Oro City at 10 a.m and will play ARQ Builders/Far Eastern University Tamaraws from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) at 9 p.m.

“Our main objective here is to be able to play against stronger teams, really strong teams. We know that there’s a team from Manila and MPBL team Valenzuela. We will be able to play with them,” said SWU-Phinma head coach Mike Reyes in a telephone interview with SunStar Cebu.

“Our win streak in Cesafi is helping us confidence wise. We had three straight wins before coming here and the last win was against the University of Cebu. So definitely, it can help our confidence in our push in this tournament,” he said.

SWU finished at fifth place in the same tournament last year. The team hopes for a stronger and higher finish this year.

“This is our second year, last year we finish at fifth place out of six teams. Definitely we will try to make it to the Top 4, that’s the main goal,” said Reyes, the brother of former national team coach Chot Reyes.

The other contenders in the tournament are the Mair Construction/ University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters and the Madyaw Construction/Valenzuela Classic.

Valenzuela plays in the countrywide (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League).

The contenders will play a single-round robin elimination round. The top two teams will dispute the title in a knockout match, while the No. 3 and No. 4 teams will battle for third place.

The champion will win P200,000 cash prize, while the second to fourth placers will bag home P150,000, P100,000, P75,000 and P50,000, respectively.

“It is our commitment to bring teams here to provide entertainment and promote sports in Bayugan City. This is also in line with our sports tourism program,” said Bayugan City Mayor Kim Lope Asis. “We welcome the visiting teams from Cebu and Manila and hope to see great sportsmanship from them.”