Basketball: FilOil Flying V gets off Saturday in San Juan

April 6, 2011 12:37 am 

MANILA, April 5 — This year’s edition of the FilOil Flying V Hanes Pre-Season Premier Cup sets in motion with a bang as reigning UAAP men’s basketball champion Ateneo battles NCAA counterpart San Beda in a potentially explosive opener at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan on Saturday.

The match set at 2 p.m. following a simple opening ceremony an hour earlier, will see the first official outing for the Eagles – the reigning three-time UAAP title holder – of high school phenom Kiefer Ravena, junior standout Mark Jayven Tallo, and rookie big man Greg Slaughter.

The Lions, who completed a rare 18-game sweep of last year’s NCAA season, are not lacking in talent either as they parade high school MVP Amer Baser and Von Chavez.

Ateneo and San Beda are just two of the 17 schools invited to compete in the April 9-June 12 meet serving as pre-season tournament of both the NCAA and UAAP.

Lyceum of the Philippines serves as this year’s guest team.

“We tried to balance things out by adding Lyceum as a guest team and make it an 18-team field. Unfortunately, Perpetual Help had to back out at the last minute, so we’re back to 17 teams in all,” said Joey Guillermo, chairman of FilOil Flying V Sports, when he appeared in the PSA Forum at Shakey’s U.N. Ave.

San Sebastian will be back to defend its title and is expected to get stiff opposition from fellow NCAA schools led by Letran, Arellano University, St. Benilde, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Jose Rizal and Mapua.

UAAP teams participating include De La Salle, Adamson, Far Eastern University, National University, University of the East, University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas.

“It’s going to be an exciting tournament, with teams building up and a lot changes within the ballclubs in terms of their coaching staff,” Guillermo added in the public sports program presented by Smart, PAGCOR and Shakey’s.

A juniors tournament will also be held, with the Philippine under-16 team of coach Olsen Racela and Philippine under-13 team of Mark Herrera seeing action as guest squads.

Also on tap is the cheerleading competition finals. (PNA) DCT/LOR

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