Luisitans brace for tough Interclub defense

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The 75th edition of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub gets off the ground in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon, with the Seniors championship to be contested first as Luisita gears up for a tough title defense with those wishing to knock the Luisitans down shoring their respective rosters.

Canlubang, Luisita’s bitter foe, and Manila Southwoods have made significant additions, while the defending champions have lost a key piece that helped them win in Cebu last year.

But Jeric Hechanova, Luisita’s nonplaying skipper, believes that even if they lost Benjie Sumulong, his charges are ready.

“[We still have a] solid team,” said Hechanova. “But Canlubang should be favored with three new solid players who will be good additions to their existing lineup.”

Abe Rosal leads four others from last year’s team who will return for the Sugar Barons, who added Pem Rosal, JP Reyes and Jess Hernandez.

Southwoods, meanwhile, will have Philippine Basketball Association coach Jorge Gallent debuting in the Interclub with the many-time Alabang club champ joining an already formidable team led by Jun Jun Plana.

Seniors play will start on Feb. 22 with teams sending out four players each round with only the top three scores counting.

Men’s action will open on March 1. The 75th staging of the PAL Interclub is supported by diamond sponsors Mastercard and Asian Journal.



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