Philippine U-18 girls team braces for tough test against veteran-laden sides in Dickies Cup

Games Friday (Buddhacare gym, Q.C.): 9:30 a.m. – NU vs Ateneo; 11:15 a.m. – UP vs Air Force; 1 p.m. – Adamson vs Army

THE Philippine girls 18-under team gets the chance to gauge its readiness for the coming ASEAN School Games when it vies for supremacy in the PCABL 7th Dickies Women’s Basketball Tournament which starts on Friday at the Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.

Determined to boost their confidence heading into next month’s campaign in Klang, Malaysia, Nationals will be up against seven formidable teams, including reigning titlist National University of coach Pat Aquino.

Though they took a bye in the opener of the event presented by Dickies, the National will be tested right away on Wednesday when they face last year’s runner-up University of the East.

“It’s going to be an acid test for the Philippine team, but we’re confident the Nationals will become a better and stronger squad going into the ASEAN tournament,” said Jose Atienza, CEO of American Star Apparel Philippine.

Aquino, one the most successful women’s coaches in the country today, believes the tournament is perfect tune-up for the Nationals, saying: “I’m very certain they will learn valuable lessons playing against the veterans.”

Expected to watch the opening hostilities are Dody Arcaya, Dickies vice president for sales and marketing, and representatives of various sponsoring companies – EuroMed, Multimotors Auto Parts, CW Home Depot, Choi Garden Restaurant and Blackwater.

The Lady Bullpups, who are out to extend their reign to five years in the coming UAAP season, start their bid for back-to-back titles against the Ateneo Lady Eagles at 9:30 a.m., while the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons tackle the Air Force squad at 11:15 a.m,

Also worth watching is the 1 p.m. encounter between Adamson and Army.

Tournament format calls for a single round elims with the top four finishers earning twice-to-beat advantages in the quarters. Both the semis and final is a one-game affair. 

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