MANILA—Varsity heavyweights kick off the action even as
two Philippine youth teams also test their mettle in the FilOil-Flying V Hanes
Preseason Premier Cup starting this Saturday.
UAAP champion Ateneo unveils a promising batch of
rookies led by Kiefer Ravena when the Blue Eagles clash with NCAA titlist San
Beda in the 2 p.m. opener at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
La Salle and University of Santo Tomas tangle in
the other seniors match at 4 p.m., while rivals Ateneo and De La Salle Zobel
open the juniors competition at 6 p.m.
The national Under-13 and Under-16 squads mentored
by Olsen Racela will also see action as guest squads in the tuneup basketball
tournament featuring 17 schools.
“Expectations are high this year,” said
FilOil-Flying V Sports chair Joey Guillermo in the PSA Forum yesterday at
Shakey’s UN Avenue.
“A lot of teams have improved, there are changes in
some coaching staff and a lot of recruits are expected to perk up the teams. We
think it’s the most exciting year.”
Ateneo and San Beda are bracketed in Group A along
with La Salle, San Sebastian, Arellano, National University, University of Santo
Tomas and Lyceum.
Far Eastern University, another preseason favorite,
mixes it up in Group B with Adamson, St. Benilde, Letran, Emilio Aguinaldo
College, Jose Rizal University, Mapua, University of the East and
University of the Philippines.