USJ-R coach on colossal matchup with UV: ‘We need to work 120%’

By: Brian J. Ochoa - CDN Digital | October 13,2023 - 07:00 PM

USJ-R Cesafi

USJ-R Jaguars head coach Melo Banua talks to his players in a huddle after their Cesafi college basketball win over SWU-Phinma Cobras. CDN Digital photo | Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Since he took over the coaching chores of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), Melo Banua was aware of who the University of the Visayas (UV) was in the Cebu collegiate basketball scene.

“We all know naman kung unsa ang UV, the champion team,” Banua said. 

Now, he and his red-hot Jaguars team are set to finally face that champion UV squad that has lorded many times before the Cesafi men’s basketball competition.

The UV-USJ-R matchup is slated Saturday at 3:30 p.m. 

Banua’s USJ-R team is on a roll, chalking up four straight wins without a loss so far this season. 

READ MORE: USJ-R coach on strong start in Cesafi: ‘We need to stay humble, hungry’

But Banua knows that things will be different against UV, who is also unbeaten at 3-0 (win-loss). 

“It’s not gonna be easy. We need to work 120 percent,” Banua said. 

Against UV, Banua believes his team should be tough. And whatever their performance will be on Saturday, he says, will be a gauge on where they are in their bid for a championship.

 “Test ni sa ato kung asa na ‘ta,” he said.

USJ-R has beaten so far this season the Southwestern University-Phinma, the University of San Carlos, Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges, and the University of the Philippines-Cebu.

READ MORE: USJ-R Jaguars narrowly beat UP Cebu to claim win no. 4

The Jaguars are looking to add UV to that list of victims.

But even of they don’t succeed, coach Banua just wants to at least show that they are a fighting team.

“Whatever the result is, as long as we do the right thing, ok lang na we just keep fighting,” Banua said.

READ MORE: Cesafi Season 23: Duel of unbeaten teams highlight Saturday’s hardcourt action

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TAGS: basketball, Cebu, Cesafi, USJ-R

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