Defending champ USC ready to defend title
Despite losing some key players in their collegiate division championship team last year, the University of San Carlos (USC) is confident of fielding a very talented and competitive squad for its title defense in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) football tournament.
“We are excited to defend our title. We are ready,” Alan Medalla told SunStar Cebu. “Four have graduated but this team we have right now is the same USC team that represented Prisaa, when we finished second.”
The USC players that won’t suit up for USC this year are Jules Villahermosa, Gabriel de Leon, Jangee Paglinawan and John Roy Melgo, who is now with Global Cebu FC.
Assistant coach and goalkeeping coach Totot Colina is expecting the veteran players to step up and fill the void as regards leadership. He, however, hopes that everyone will step up to boost their run at back-to-back titles.
“Yves Caballero and Vinson Nery are our graduating students, we expect more from them. But I think Mark Pomeroy Veloso has been consistently stepping up. But we will see how the others will step up in the Cesafi tournament. If you are mentally ready, you can step up. I will be happy and amazed to see all of them step up, if not, at least half of the team,” he said.
Goalkeeper Terrence Colmenares, who was the hero in last year’s championship match, has developed his game a lot and will play a huge role in this year’s campaign.
“As his goalkeeping coach, I have big hopes for him. I know his skills and attitude during practice and also in the game. I have prepared him mentally in practice to be ready for the game,” he said.
Colmenares made a crucial deflection in last year’s 7-6 penalty shootout win over University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF).
USC will have its season opener on Sept. 14 against multi-titled University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
The Cesafi football tournament officially kicks off on Sept. 10. /