Ateneo seeks to extend its unbeaten start to three games today when it takes on Emilio Aguinaldo College in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup.
The Eagles, coming off a narrow 75-70 triumph over San Sebastian Wednesday, and the Generals take the floor at 4:15 p.m. at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
San Beda targets a second straight win against University of the Philippines at 2:30 p.m., after Perpetual Help and Arellano open their respective campaigns.
But the spotlight will be on the Eagles anew as they continue gearing up for the defense of their UAAP title late this year. Without the big men who bannered its past campaigns, it hasn’t been easy for Ateneo.
But rookie coach Bo Perasol is glad that his team is facing adversity this early.
“Nobody is going to bail us out, so it’s really up to us to compensate (our disadvantage in size),” said Perasol, who is also missing 6-foot-6 center JP Erram due to injury.
“I’m glad we’re experiencing this because this is going to be the trend for us this season.”
The Eagles have been making a conscious effort to make up for their lack of ceiling with star guard Kiefer Ravena also focusing on crashing the boards. He had a team-best nine boards in the 75-70 win over the Stags.
The Lions are hoping to follow up their 67-55 conquest of the Jose Rizal U Bombers against the Fighting Maroons, who endured a miserable season in the UAAP last year.
Rome Dela Rosa and Ola Adeogun will be at the forefront of the Lions’ attack, along with the vastly improved Ryusei Koga.
With an almost intact lineup from last season, Arellano is a strong contender this season with the likes of John Pinto and James Forrester leading the squad.
Earl Scott Thompson and Harold Arboleda banner the Altas’ bid. Cedelf P. Tupas