Ateneo, San Beda dispute FilOil crownBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA—Varsity titans Ateneo and San Beda clash today in a fitting finale to the FilOil-Flying V Hanes Preseason Premier Cup.
And the Blue Eagles and the Red Lions agree there’s no telling which team holds the upperhand in the championship set at 3:30 p.m. at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.
“It’s going to be a very competitive game, that’s for sure,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black.
“[The Lions] are one of the best teams in the country and they have the size to match up with us, so that means we will not have much of an advantage. We’ll rely on defense and do our best. It’s going to be a tough game.”
San Beda hopes to pull off a double victory with the Red Cubs clashing with the Energen Philippines’ under-16 team for the juniors championship at 1:30 p.m.
The national youth squad is mentored by former Ateneo standout Olsen Racela.
The Eagles and the Lions figured in similarly tough semifinal encounters last Friday, where their rookie big men took charge in the final stretch.
San Beda coach Frankie Lim described his Lions’ 82-78 disposal of Adamson as “an ugly win,” yet still credited Nigerian enforcer Ola Adeogun for racking up eight straight points that bailed out the reigning NCAA titlist.
Adeogun wound up with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The 6-foot-11 Greg Slaughter posted even bigger numbers of 24 points and 13 boards in the Blue Eagles’ 82-74 decision of Far Eastern University.
“I think [Slaughter] is more adjusted now to our offense and defense,” Black said of the Smart Gilas national team mainstay, who headlines Ateneo’s prized recruits along with Kiefer Ravena.
Two months ago, Ateneo’s young star duo also shone with a combined 51 points in the three-time UAAP champions’ lone elimination encounter with the Lions, which ended in a 90-87 triumph.