NU faces acid test from battle-tested Air Force at start of Rexona women’s invitational caging
Coaches and representative of the eight participating pose during a recent meeting with the organizers. They are (from left) Joel Sta. Mina of FEU-Multimotors, John Kallos of Adamson-Mighty Sports, Kenneth Raval of UP, Ryan Tongio of Air Force, Patrick Aquino of NU-Ever Bilena, Rachel An Santos of CEU, Corazon Macalalad of UE-Cherrylume and Haydee Ong of Discovery Sports.  

A HEAVY four-game bill ushers in the 1st Rexona Women’s Invitational Tournament as top collegiate teams slug it out with two fancied clubs for the bragging rights as the country’s premier women’s basketball squad starting on Saturday at the Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.

Led by three-time UAAP champion National University-Ever Bilena and UCBL’s Centro Escolar University, the collegiate squads pit their skills against Discovery Sports and Air Force – teams backstopped by former national and varsity players – in the tournament designed to further boost women’s basketball in the country.

Also taking part in the event presented by Rexona and organized by the PCABL are Far Eastern University-Multimotors, Adamson-Mighty Sports, University of the East-Cherrylume, and University of the Philippines.

NU, bidding to extend its UAAP reign to four years, faces an acid test in the opener as it battles Air Force at 9 a.m. with the CEU Lady Scorpions clashing with the FEU Lady Tamaraws at 10:45 a.m. and the UE Lady Warriors taking on the Lady Maroons at 12:30 p.m.

Handled by coach Mike Fermin, Adamson-Mighty Sports hopes to pull off a surprise win when it goes up against Discovery Sports at 2:15 p.m.

Sherwin Ang, customer business manager of Unilever, said they are supporting the league knowing full well female basketball players need more exposure to catch up with the country’s Southeast Asian rivals.

Jeff Lim, Unilever key customer manager, said the tournament also bodes well for the collegiate teams who are preparing for their respective leagues.

“The tournament will serve as a preview of what to expect in the coming UAAP season, same thing for CEU which is playing in a different league,” said Lim. “We anticipate an exciting chase for the title with all the teams preparing hard for the event.

Discovery Sports and Air Force may have experience on their side, but the NU Lady Bulldogs remain as the team to beat due to their UAAP success.

NU, mentored by Pat Aquino, made history in the UAAP by going undefeated in winning three straight titles.

But Aquino downplayed their chances, saying Discovery Sports and Air Force should be labeled as the teams to beat because of the vast experience of their players.

Games on Saturday
(Buddhacare gym, Q.C.)
9 a.m. – NU vs Air Force
10:45 a.m. – CEU vs FEU
12:30 p.m. – UP vs UE
2:15 p.m. – Discovery vs Adamson-MS

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