Baby Tams’ Jr MVP Pingoy to Blue EaglesBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo just scored a recruitment coup after back-to-back UAAP juniors Most Valuable Player Jerie Pingoy committed Sunday to play for the five-time men’s basketball champion next season.
Pingoy, who recently powered Far Eastern University to its first juniors title in 25 years, opted to suit up for the Blue Eagles, who lost sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan and coach Norman Black.
“One million percent he’s going to Ateneo,” Pingoy’s father, Jerry, told the Inquirer yesterday. “He made the choice.”
Meanwhile, FEU formally appointed yesterday Nash Racela as its new head coach.
Racela, a Talk ‘N Text assistant mentor in the PBA, takes over Bert Flores, who stepped down after the Tamaraws failed to advance to the Final Four this season.
The 5-foot-9 Pingoy normed 21 points—highlighted by a season-high 43 points—on top of 4.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals.
“Many schools tried to recruit him,” the elder Pingoy, a former PBA player, said in Filipino. “He always dreamed of playing and studying in Ateneo.”
Pingoy also dispelled talk that his 17-year-old son, a member of the under-18 national team, had committed to other schools.
The Eagles hope to form another powerhouse lineup with the loss of Greg Slaughter and Finals MVP Nico Salva to graduation.
Fil-Am Chris Newsome and Fil-Canadian John Lasa are set to suit up for the Ateneo next season.