CEBU—Manila Southwoods chases its place in PAL Interclub history starting today by sending out Japanese teenager Yuto Katsuragawa to anchor its opening round five at exclusive Cebu Country Club here.
Non-playing skipper Thirdy Escano still doesn’t have his complete opening round roster penciled out until late last night, but bared that the prolific Katsuragawa will coming out for the first 18 holes as the Carmona-based squad seeks a fifth straight title.
And unlike in the previous four championships where Southwoods practically went untouched, Escano is expecting a tougher battle this time, hence, leaving no stones unturned in terms of preparing the team was concerned.
“The ball is round, so we made sure that we come (to Cebu) as prepared as we can be,” Escano said as the team spent the eve of the 72nd playing of the country’s unofficial team championship sampling the Cebu CC and Mactan Island Golf Club more.
“And another thing going for us is that we have chemistry in the team,” he added. “That will go a long way when it goes down to be a close fight.”
Luisita is out to spoil Southwoods’ bid to tie Canlubang’s record of five straight titles, with Jeric Hechanova assembling a team that has experience and youth.
The Luisitans have tapped the services of Rupert Zaragosa, a long-time Cangolf ace whose father, Boyet, was part of so many victorious Sugar Barons teams in the 1990s.
Luisita won the Senior title by dethroning Canlubang by three points last Saturday, and Hechanova said that the idea of a rare sweep of the tournament is certainly enticing, though he believes that they are the underdogs.
“They’re still very strong,” Hechanova said of Southwoods.