CEBU CITY — The opening weekend of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. features an early clash of favorites, with titleholder Southwestern University taking on runner-up University of San Carlos on August 2.
The two teams did not play against each other in the preseason tournaments but the rivalry will be rekindled right away, a day after the formal opening of the new season highlighted by a match between rebuilding University of Cebu and last year’s fourth-placer University of San Jose-Recoletos.
It is still three weeks before opening day, but SWU head coach Raul Alcoseba is already excited for the big match.
“I’m already looking forward to that game. What better way to start the season than with a rematch of last year’s finals? We’re already preparing for that,” said the multi-titled coach whose bench got even deeper with the arrival of Fil-Samoan Juju Bautista from San Diego.
USC head coach Britt Reroma is also gearing up his troops to try and end a 15-year title drought.
“Obviously SWU is a very good team. They’re well-coached. They have great players so it’s going to be a great test for us early in the season,” said Reroma, who took over from Junthy Valenzuela early this year.
USC also added a new piece to its arsenal in energetic forward Mavii Suarez, a member of the 2012 Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles who played for Arellano University’s Team B for a few years.
Suarez returns to Cebu to join a frontcourt that will still be anchored by Cameroonian Shooster Olago and manned by the likes of Charles Pepito and former San Beda Red Cub Nico Magat.