IN an unexpected turn of events, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers get to represent the Philippines in the basketball competition of Asia Pacific University Games (Apug) on Dec. 4 to 8 at the University of San Carlos gym.
USPF, a winless team in the recently concluded 2015 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), will be representing Team Philippines along with the newly crowned college kings University of San Carlos Warriors and the University of Cebu Webmasters.
They will be facing teams from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Japan in the five-day event organized by the Federation of School Sports Association in the Philippines (Fessap) and the Commission on Higher Education.
Aside from basketball, it will also feature a badminton and table tennis competition.
USPF’s was included after teams from South Korea, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei and Australia withdrew from the event.
Apug organizing committee said it decided to offer the slot to USPF, a team that lost all its 12 games in the Cesafi season, because of the inability of the other teams.
“Unfortunately, UV and USJ-R are not available on that dates because they will be playing in the PCCL Visayas elimination in Ormoc.
Besides, those teams coming are all school-based teams and this will also give added exposure to USC,” said Apug organizing committee co-chairman Atty. Baldomero Estenzo. “We will also use the USPF gym as another venue for the tournament.”
Malaysia will be represented by Universiti Teknologi Mara, Japan will be represented by Nippon Sports Science University and Papua New Guinea will send the Pupuan Blacks V2.
According to Estenzo, the other Cesafi teams that finished with a bettere record than USPF are no longer training and only the Panthers are religiously working in anticipation of a better finish next year.
On Dec. 4, the Webmasters will play Malaysia, USPF plays Papua New Guinea and the Warriors take on Japan.
The tournament will follow a single round robin format with the team that has the highest number of wins getting the gold medal.