Sarok Weavers confident of defending U21 crown despite major changes

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | June 07,2022 - 04:06 PM

Mark Malazarte (holding a plaque) is joined by Municipality of Consolacion officials during their courtesy call for winning the PSL U21 Aspirants Cup title. | Photo from Malazarte’s Facebook page.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Consolacion Sarok Weavers hope to maintain their defensive prowess and feistiness on the floor amidst major changes that the team is undergoing, as they gear up for their title retention campaign in the Pilipinas Super League (PSL) U21 Aspirants Division Cup.

The Sarok Weavers grabbed the local basketball scene’s attention when they dominated the league held in Roxas town, Zamboanga del Norte last April, relying on their rock-solid defense and excellent teamwork to capture the crown.

For team manager Mark Malazarte, they will maintain their signature style and system in the upcoming league despite the major changes the team had.

One of these changes is the introduction of a new head coach and four new players for the upcoming season.

Malazarte told CDN Digital some of the team changes and preparations for the upcoming league slated tentatively on June 18.

The venue of the league is yet to be announced as PSL is planning to hold regional legs in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao with the winning teams to vie in the national championship.

According to Malazarte, their top scorers Rojan Montemayor and Gyle Patrick Montano, and key player Neon Chavez have left the team.

Montemayor became one of the members of the Mythical Five of the tournament while Montano earned the finals MVP plum.

In addition, the team recently introduced Lee Mhar Dahil as the new Sarok Weavers head coach, succeeding Kareem Alocillo.

“Despite losing three of our main players in Montano, Montemayor, and Chavez and also our head coach, we are still going to be competitive since we added new players to fill out the void,” said Malazarte.

The Sarok Weavers’ four new addition include former Batang Gilas player King Balaga along with one of the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City’s top scorers Dave Paulo, Sealtiel Yap and Matthew Cañares.

“Though this will be challenging considering the new faces in the team and short preparation, we are still confident because we will be running the same system with new head coach Lee Mhar Dahil calling the shots with the help of new assistant coach Serg Alburo and Coach Paul Flores,” added Malazarte.

The Sarok Weavers finished their campaign with a stellar 9-1 (win-loss) record, including their semifinals and finals victories.

They also swept the host team, Roxas Vanguards, 2-0 in the Best-of-Three Finals series.

Due to the big changes in the team and the title at stake, Malazarte admitted that pressure is indeed mounting on their side.

“Yes, the pressure is there since we know that the other teams are also preparing seriously and we know our team has been fully scouted. However, we are very excited to defend the crown in front of our families and fellow Cebuanos,” he said.

The upcoming PSL U21 Aspirants Division Cup has more excitement in it since three additional Cebu teams will be vying in the league including Team Sherilin-Unisol Mandaue, Bogo City, and San Fernando.   /rcg

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TAGS: basketball, Cebu Basketball, Consolacion, Consolacion Sarok Weavers, Pilipinas Super League, PSL, Sarok Weavers, U21 Aspirants Division Cup

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