Game against UV is a true test of USPF’s character
Cebu City, Philippines—The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) deserves to be considered as one of the teams to watch out for in this year’s Cesafi men’s basketball tournament.
The Panthers proved this after already pulling off victories against powerhouse squads early in the season, beating teams like the University of Cebu (UC), 78-72, last September 10, 2019, and last year’s runners up University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), last September 28.
But the outcome of their next game is what will surely define what kind of a team USPF is so far.
The Panthers, currently at third place with an 3-2 (win-loss) record and also in the middle of a two-game win streak, face perennial powerhouse University of the Visayas (UV) on Tuesday, October 1, at the Cebu Coliseum.
Game time is at 6:45 p.m.
USPF head coach Brian Jereza knows how important this game will be for the Panthers.
“UV is the team to test what we are and where we are as a team,” Jereza said. “Playing a champion team is a very good gauge for us to know on what we lack and what we need to improve on as a team.”
Playing against UV is indeed an acid test for any team.
Aside from the fact that the Green Lancers are the three-time defending champions and 13-time champions overall, they are also on a three-game win streak this season, hugging tightly the top spot of the standings with a 4-1 card.
UV is coming off a 71-66 victory over erstwhile leader Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma.
But USPF is also on a roll and has been playing good basketball so far, especially in its last two games.
Its success could be credited to the way its foreign student athlete, Sameen Swint, is performing this season.
Swint has virtually carried USPF’s scoring chores this season, averaging 28 points in the team’s three wins.
“All he wants is to play and win. His character and dedication towards practice, working out, and on the game is a big help to the team,” Jereza said of his player from the USA.
Jereza said they found a gem in Swint, as he is not only a huge help for the team on the court.
“He’s good not only as a player but as a team mate and a friend,” he added.
This must be the reason why the team is playing cohesive basketball so far.
In his previous interview, Swint said they succeeded because “we came together as a team and everybody did their job.”
USPF will need more of that, though, if it wants to also succeed against a UV team that is looking so confident in this season. /bmjo
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