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Southwoods, Eastridge favored

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — It’s going to be youth versus experience when the championship teams in the regular FIL division begin their quest for the crown in the 73rd Januarius Fil Am Invitational slated at Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay here.

Defending champion Manila Southwoods and Eastridge have put a premium on young players while Januarius Private Equity and SPES-1 will have a mix of veterans in their lineups.

National mainstay Aidric Chan, a product of the University of Arizona, is spearheading Southwoods’ drive for a ninth straight title. Local star Paolo Wong, Ryan Monsalve, Lanz Uy and Shinichi Suzuki are his teammates.

“We will go for No. 9. Competition will be tough as other teams beefed up their rosters but we are ready as always. I think our advantage is our familiarity with each other, said Southwoods captain Thirdy Escaño.

Eastridge will parade amateurs Edison Tabalin, Chris Remata, first-timer Alex Bisera, Ronel Tagaan and John Uy.

Cebuano stars Mark Dy, Bayani Garcia, and Tyler Po will team up with Justin Limjap, Marvin Mendoza and Homacio Mendoza for SPES-1.

Januarius Private Equity looms as the underdog but has a good shot at success with veterans Ray Sangil, Terence Macatangay and Jet Mathay partnering with Kirby Lachica and Ayon Sanchez.