THE 9th edition of the Cebuana Lhuillier Alumni Slopitch Softball League unfolds on Sunday with International School of Manila opening its title-retention bid against UP Los Banos at the IS Manila field in Taguig City.
The Bearcats, seeking their third title in four years, try to start the new campaign with a bang against the UPLB batters in a rematch of last year’s finals.
Other participating teams in the annual tournament are Ateneo, UP Diliman and 2011 champion La Salle.
UPLB, backed by PABA executive vice president Ely Barradas, is tagged as title favorites with playing coach Armand Bantoc, Baron Alqueza, Doc de Padua, vice chancellor Pidz Agsibit and Forestry dean Sonny Camacho on the roster.
La Salle will be led by Philippine Habagat coach Mike Ochosa, Bernie Gapuz, brothers Anthony and Leslie Suntay and national baseball team veteran Joseph Orillana.
Leading UP Diliman are Darwin dela Calzada, who pitched for the nationals in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, playing coach Pato Moral, Edmund Esguerra, RD Salacup and actor Richard Gomez.
Ateneo fields a younger roster powered by Nikko Dizer, Em Fernandez, Benjo Afuang, Ricky Gumaru, Jun Muyco, Mike Gayoso and returning Chad Garcia.