De­fend­ing champ USC ready to de­fend ti­tle

Sun.Star Cebu - - PRIME SPORTS -

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. /

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