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UV, USJR begin title duel

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CEBU CITY — The battle for local basketball supremacy unfolds as University of the Visayas (UV) clashes with Univeristy of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) in Game 1 of their Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. men’s basketball tournament best-of-three finals series today at the Cebu Coliseum.

Action starts at 6:45 p.m. with the Green Lancers looking for a crucial win that will set their bid for a rare three-peat in motion.

Prior to that, University of Cebu and University of San Carlos clash in the battle for third at 5:15 p.m.

All eyes will be on the Green Lancers.

Armed with vast championship experience and a total of 12 crowns under their belts courtesy of decorated mentors Elmer Cabahug, Felix Belano and Gary Cortes, the Green Lancers are heavily favored to dominate this year.

But the Jaguars are no pushovers as they play in high spirit and big fighting hearts.

This will be the fifth time for the Jaguars to meet the Lancers in the finals.

They clashed in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2008 with UV always emerging victorious.

That’s why the wards of coach Leode Garcia are itching to pull the rug off the Lancers not only to finally assert their dominance, but also to make history and win their first title in 18 years.

Reigning Most Valuable Player Jaybee Mantilla and skipper Ralph Dinolan are tipped to be at the helm together with high-flying Miguel Gastador, scrappy Ricky Peromingan, Nichole Ubalde, Fletcher Galvez and import Segamars Enewike, who is bigger and stronger than his counterpart in Bassieru Sackor.

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