THE build-up of the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) in the off-season quickly shoved the Wildcats as one of the teams to look out for in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) 2013 Regular Season tournament.
Its runner-up finish, its second in a row, in the Pre-Season Cesafi Partner’s Cup last June is hard to neglect because it measured its depth and determination to win the game.
But will that determination last beyond the pre-season tournament?
Its strength and depth are now in question following the disqualification of its leading scorer, Allan Dimco, to play this year.
“Everything collapsed. Our preparation had to be scratched back to square one. Dimco’s disqualification meant a lot to us because he was our leading scorer, leading rebounder and leading defender. Yet we won’t dwell on that, we had to make adjustments, and try to make the best out of what I got,” CIT-U coach Gilbert Demape said as he heaved a huge sigh.
The 20-year-old pivot man was disqualified by the Cesafi screening committee for failure to meet the 60 percent passing rate for varsity players.
“We had a strong line-up this year but we suddenly had to scamper back to find who will take the spot left by Dimco. But still, we will be fighting hard and we will try to improve our standings from last year,” added Demape.
Rookies Vincent Minguito, a power forward and Joshua de la Cerna, who plays the small forward position – made CIT-U a tough team to contend with this season as they form a very potent quintet. Christian Taboada plays as point guard and Franklyn Batiquin covers the shooting guard position.
Back in action for the Wildcats this season are John Michael Graf, Bridirick y Tabalin, while finding their spot in the CIT-U line-up are Rene Arana, Francis Patino, Steven Bucao and Wendyl Undaloc.
Aside from Dimco, Demape also lost the services of last year’s starting point guard Axel Rabaya and workhorses Jeffrey Taghoy, Mark Rey Booc, Clyven Lima-Lima, Pierre Enfante, Lloyd Sanchez and Zandro Palileo.
“As usual we will try to counter our opponents with our running game. Although this time it might be harder because we don’t have Dimco. But we will try to push and put up a good fight as much as possible. Daugon na lang ni namo sa pakusganay,” Demape stressed.
CIT-U is among the schools that don’t have or won’t consider having an import to beef up their line-up.
Without Dimco, the load of plugging the holes and providing more points, especially in the shaded lane, is now heavily loaded on the shoulders of Minguito.