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Interclub fires off; Southwoods seniors defend Founders title

04:02 AM February 25, 2020

Manila Southwoods will be in Bacolod not only seeking to touch off another PAL Interclub Men’s title streak but also to shoot for a second straight crown in the Founders Division of Seniors action that gets going on Wednesday at the Binitin and Marapara layouts.

Admitting that the squad is about “two years away” from being a heavyweight in the ranks like Canlubang and Luisita, SW captain Freddie Mendoza is bracing for a tight race in the division and hopes for a hot start with a team spearheaded by former club champion Teody Pascual.

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“We hope to duplicate our performance last year,” said Mendoza who has practically the same lineup that won by 12 points over hard-fight Valley in Cebu last year.

Pascual was the best scorer last year and will again be leading a team composed of Thirdy Escano, Ryan Abdon, Alexander Ignacio, Jose Roy III, Danny Samaniego and John Bayani Fontanilla III, with Rading Decipeda coming in as a new member in place of Bong Sison.

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Mendoza said competition in the second-tier division is keen and expects Valley, Riviera and host Negros Occidental to figure prominently.

Last year, Southwoods held a precarious one-point lead over Riviera going into the final round before closing out 143 points, even as Riviera was beaten to second place by Valley.The Championship Division, meanwhile, remains to be a toss-up between the Luisitans and the Sugar Barons, who are playing at a level Mendoza said Southwoods could come to in about two years.

For that to happen, Jun Jun Plana and Vince Lauron, who will be playing in the rock-solid Men’s team, will be available for Senior play.

The annual PAL Interclub event, hosted by national flag carrier Philippine Airlines.

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