PCCL: Ateneo Blue Eagles seek third national crown
MANILA, Philippines—The country’s best varsity teams gather anew in the 2011 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) starting with the five regional qualifiers next month.
Over 200 teams from 32 leagues will shoot for the championship in the tournament that also dangles a cash prize of half a million pesos.
The tournament kicks off in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur for the North and Central Luzon qualifiers from November 7 to 8.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles, who just captured a historic fourth straight UAAP crown, already earned an outright Final Four berth along with the eventual NCAA champion.
But unlike the past seasons, the semifinals will be a round-robin affair where the top two finishers will advance to the knockout Finals.
Meanwhile, Ateneo coach Norman Black, whose wards are eyeing a third straight national title, said the Blue Eagles have also been focused on their build-up for the next UAAP season.
Black said Nico Elorde, the 5-foot-9 guard who played one season for the Green Archers, has already served the required residency and may just fill in the spot of Emman Monfort, who’s graduating along with Kirk Long and Bacon Austria.
“He’s a pretty good player and he can step in to take the place of Emman,” said Black.
With the seven-foot Greg Slaughter still undecided if he’ll play his final year of eligibility, Black said the team is also looking at several talents who are “big and strong” and “can physically match up with other recruits coming into the UAAP.”
Among them is Kristoffer Porter, the Blue Eaglet standout named in this season’s juniors Mythical Team.
“He’s well advanced when it comes to offensive plays, he can help us a lot in the future,” said Black.