Ateneo-La Salle charity match tips off
MANILA, Philippines—Pride and bragging rights will be there for the taking as college basketball’s most compelling rivalry in Ateneo and La Salle get it on one more time Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The match, dubbed “Blue vs Green: Dream Game 2012,” is set at 6 p.m. and features a Green Archers side of coach Franz Pumaren and Blue Eagles squad of coach Norman Black both reinforced by current and one-time PBA players.
The two bitter school rivals fought to a 90-90 standoff the last time they fought for a good cause in 2008, although the Eagles put one over the Archers in 2005 when Enrico Villanueva hit the game-winning three-pointer, 88-85, in a match best remembered for the fracas that broke out between Villanueva and Joseph Yeo.
Both Villanueva and Yeo will be suiting up again for their respective schools, making this charity match presented by the PBA in cooperation with Mastermind Entertainment for the benefit of young cancer patients of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) all the more intense.
Apart from Villanueva, also seeing action for the Katipunan-based school are Japeth Aguilar, Noy Baclao, Doug Kramer, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, LA Tenorio, Larry Fonacier, JC Intal, Wesley Gonzales, Magnum Membrere, Eric Salamat, Rich Alvarez, and Paolo Bugia.
Yeo will be joined at the La Salle bench by JV Casio, Mike Cortez, Mac Cardona, RenRen Ritualo, TY Tang, Ryan Araña, Don Allado, Rico Maierhoffer, Carlo Sharma, Jerwin Gaco, Willie Wilson and JR Aquino, reportedly a late replacement for Brian Ilad.
Black and the rest of the Eagles held two practices prior to the game, which the Ateneo coach expects to be “fun and yet competitive.”
In contrast, the Green Archers played together as a team just once, although Pumaren doesn’t see any problem as far as cohesion is concerned.
“All of these players had, at one time or another, played under me,” said Pumaren, who steered the school to five championships.
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