THE University of San Carlos Warriors will start their quest for the national glory as they take on the Iloilo Doctors College Medics at the start of the 2013 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) step-ladder Sweet 16 tournament today at the Cebu Coliseum.
The Warriors will play the Medics in the main game at 7:15 p.m. game following the game between Mindanao qualifiers STI College Olympians of Cagayan de Oro City and Holy Trinity College Wildcats of General Santos City at 5:30 p.m.
The Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) third placers are just as eager as the six teams from the south who are hoping to nab a ticket to the Final Four.
“Honestly, we don’t know a thing about our opponent. Iloilo is virtually unknown to us. But still, we are prepared for what they will throw against us. We will put premium in our defense, the zone breaker and man-to-man defense. On offense we will try to create opening and fast break opportunities,” USC head coach Julian Macoy told Sun.Star Cebu.
The Medics indeed are a surprise qualifier to the Sweet 16 after they won the Visayas Regional Conference title over the Asian College of Science and Technology (Acsat) Lightings of Dumaguete last week.
“We told the players that everything is in their hands. Whether they like to be eliminated in our first game or go all the way to Manila, it is all up to them. The coaches could only guide them, but they will be the ones who will be playing,” added Macoy.
However, this competition is not just all about the PCCL Sweet 16 and the Southern Island title.
This tournament is all about the rivalry between the 10-time Cesafi champions University of the Visayas Green Lancers and bitter rivals Southwestern University Cobras.
Both teams are highly favored to contest for the Southern Island title if USC, IDC, STI or HTC will not get in their ways.
UV has been out of the PCCL picture since losing to UC in 2010, not even their contention for the Southern Island championship last year against the Cobras matter.
The Lancers has been eyeing the PCCL as their ultimate goal and to get there, they will have to pass through the talented and hungrier Cobras.