Blue Dragons test newcomer St. Joseph in UCBL tiff

MANILA, Philippines — St. Joseph College of Bulacan hopes to make an impact as it debuts against Diliman College in the third UCBL basketball tournament today at the Olivarez gym in Parañaque.

Though the Blue Dragons have the edge in experience, the Bulacan cagers are going all out to spoil the former and make an impression in their maiden appearance at 12 noon.

Clashing at 2 p.m. are Technological Institute of the Philippines and Philippine Christian U with the latter out to bounce back from a 74-82 loss to Lyceum-Batangas in last Thursday’s opener of the league’s third season.

Olivarez College shared the opening day spotlight when it surprised multi-titled Centro Escolar U, 86-83, behind Chris Lalata’s heroics.

Mentored by NorthPort assistant coach Rensy Bajar, the Blue Dragons are expected to assert their will early against the rookie team in a bid to get their campaign going in the league backed by CafeFrance, Yakult, Gerry’s Grill, Hapee Toothpaste, MaxSell Power Tool and Tough Mama Home and Kitchen Appliances, Tanduay Athletics and Toyota Motor Philippines.

Owned by former Sen. Nikki Coseteng, Diliman College is aiming to nail its first-ever championship after falling short last year.