By: Jonas N. Panerio July 26,2016 - 09:02 PM

List of eligible athletes for Cesafi basketball released, Jaguars to play with just 10 in roster

For the second year in a row, a Cesafi squad will be playing with a severely undermanned roster as the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars will go to war in the collegiate basketball competition with just 10 players.

This was revealed yesterday after the list of eligible athletes for basketball was released by league commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy. The stunning development follows exactly a year after Southwestern University (SWU) played during the 2015 season with just nine players after most of their roster was not able to comply with the academic requirements.

The same goes for this Jaguars team of veteran tactician Jun Noel, who divulged to Cebu Daily News that they only submitted an 11-man roster to the screening committee as they already knew that several of their key players were not able to pass 60 percent of their units last semester.

These included dependable big man Edmundo Bayhonan and new recruit, Arnie Padilla, from Far Eastern University.

Set to suit up for USJ-R this season are skippers Nelvin Navarra and RJ Dinolan, Miguel Gastador, Clifford Jopia, Albert Catiloc, Jaybie Mantilla, Bennick Sealana, Victor Nuñez, John Pastias and Tricky Peromingan.

Still, Noel assured USJ-R faithful that his squad will battle to the very end.

“I feel confident with this group. They will fight and claw on every possession,” said Noel in a talk yesterday afternoon. “The goal really remains the same and that is to make it to the finals and play for the championship. Really, our only true opponent is injuries. So I’m hoping that the players can be in good health from start to finish.”

Judging from SWU’s campaign last season, Noel was right in his assessment. At different points of the season, the Cobras were hampered by injuries to key players, which included reigning MVP Macmac Tallo, Jun Luz and then-SWU aces Jan Auditor and Juju Bautista.

Noel also said that the players already know that they will be getting opportunities and they are ready for it.

“I will play a 10-man rotation. Everybody will get to play. Of course, the veterans will play a lot but they are used to that already. They are ready.”

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TAGS: basketball, Cesafi, Felix Tiukinhoy, players, Southwestern University, University of San Jose Recoletos, USJ-R

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