Cesafi men’s basketball: USC coach likes what he’s seeing so far

By: Mars G. Alison October 09,2019 - 10:35 PM

USPF’s Genesis Estardo glides to the basket for two in a Cesafi Partner’s Cup game against USC at the Cebu Coliseum. | CDN file photo

Games Thursday

October 10, 2019

 Cebu Coliseum

5:15 p.m. – UCLM vs CIT-U

6:45 p.m. – USPF vs USC

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Sporting a 4-3 (win-loss) record, the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors find themselves in a good position in the ongoing Cesafi men’s basketball tournament.

The Warriors, last year’s third placers, are currently at third place, trailing the defending champions University of the Visayas (UV), which has a 6-1 card, and Southwestern University (SWU)-Phinma, which totes a 5-2 record, in the standings.

And despite coming from a 66-61 loss to the Cobras last October 6, 2019, USC head coach Rodulfo “Bong” Abad still likes what he is seeing from his team.

“So far, so good,” the former PBA player said as his team prepares to take on the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) on Thursday, October 10. 

“I can see it in the players that they have the will to win,” Abad added.

According to Abad, the team is not looking that far ahead, with their eyes set on the semis first before anything else.

“Our concern now is to focus on our remaining games. Our goal as of the moment is to enter the semis,” said Abad.

And although the start of the second round didn’t quite go well, Abad is still optimistic about his team’s chances, considering that the Warriors did defeat the Panthers in their first round meeting, 80-75, last September 1.

“We had lapses in our recent game, which the players are aware of. We need to [learn from these],” added Abad.

As with other teams, the preparation when going up against USPF will focus on its prolific American student athlete, Sameen Swint.

Swint has been averaging 28 points in the three wins of USPF. But when the defense clamps down on him, or if he’s not around to play, the team struggles, as shown in its five losses.

“[We have to make a] little adjustment especially on [Swint]. [We have ] to limit his production,” Abad said.

The Panthers, for their part, will be hoping to end a three game skid, two of which, they suffered at the hands of defending champion UV.

Their other loss was against the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars last October 5, wherein Swint wasn’t able to play due to uniform problems.

The three successive losses dropped USPF to fifth place with a 3-5 card.

In the high school division, the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue (UCLM) will be vying for its first win in the tournament when it takes on the Cebu Institute of Technology (CIT-U) Wildkittens.

UCLM is at the bottom of the standings with a 0-4 record while CIT-U is just one rung up at 10th place with a 1-5 card. /bmjo

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