AS part of their preparations for the season, the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers are set to conquer Cebu in a pocket tournament that will also involve Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) teams.

The pocket tournament, which will be hosted by the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, is tentatively scheduled on July 14-17 and at the USJ-R Basak Campus.

Aside from the Jaguars, the other teams eyed to participate in the short competition are the University of the Visayas Green Lancers and Southwestern University Cobras.

However, their participation is pending on the acceptance of the said teams who are currently working to build up their respective line-ups for the upcoming Cesafi season, which will open on Aug. 6.

The Jaguars are set to display their wares on the opening day against the University of Cebu Webmasters.

The Tigers, on the other hand, are also trying to perfect their combinations and to fully adopt the system of new coach Rodil “Boy” Sablan, who assumed the job from Bong de la Cruz. Dela Cruz left the team amid a series of controversies that included allegations of physical abuse by members of the team following their runner-up finish last year.

Sablan, who played for UST back in the 80s, needs to familiarize himself with a team that has six rookies.

UST has Zachary Huang, the former Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles power forward who joined the Tigers last season.

UST was invited to play in the cash-rich 8th Mayor Kim Lope Asis Cup Invitationl tournament in Bayugan City on July 26-29 but decided to back out to prioritize its Cebu City tune-up matches.

Bayugan offered free transportation, accommodation and meals to the five competing teams, which had confirmed its participation.

UV, USJ-R, San Beda College Red Lions Team B which will parade some of the members of the Batang Gilas and Gilas Cadet team, UAAP champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws and the Colegio de Sta. Ana de Victorias Titans of Bacolod City are the teams competing for the P200,000 champions prize.