Ateneo eyes back-to-back PCCL titles
MANILA, Philippines–UAAP champion Ateneo will test its new-look lineup against the country’s top collegiate squads in the 2020 National Collegiate Championships.
The Blue Eagles, who pulled off a historic sweep in the UAAP will try to continue winning tradition against the best teams not only from the UAAP and NCAA but also from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. They downed University of Visayas in last year’s national finals.
More popularly known as the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, the event features NCAA champion Letran, UAAP runner-up University of Santo Tomas and NCAA runner-up San Beda for the UAAP-NCAA challenge.
The National Champion will be awarded the President’s Cup from Philippine Sports Commission and the M.V.Pangilinan Trophy from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
The Blue Eagles lost Matt and Mike Nieto, Thirdy Ravena, Adrian Wong and Isaac Go, who played key roles in their triumphant campaign, but coach Tab Baldwin will parade Fil-American forward Dwight Ramos, a 6-foot-5 dynamo who is a member of the Gilas national training pool.
Others expected to step up for Ateneo are Gian Mamuyac, William Navarro, SJ Belangel, Tyler Tio and African slotman Angelo Kouame.
The UAAP/NCAA challenge is set for February 8, 9 and February 15 at the Filoil Flying V Centre with the top two teams advancing to the Final Four.
Don Honorio Ventura State U bested five teams from Pangasinan, Baguio, Vigan, Dagupan & Pampanga to lead the Luzon Regional Championship, along with Diliman College, UAAP third placer University of the Philippines and the Bicol champion. The Luzon regionals are scheduled on February 9-12 at Jesse Robredo Coliseum in Naga City.
Powerhouses Southwestern University and University of Visayas banner the Vis-Min group plus other qualifiers.
The UAAP/NCAA champion and runner-up plus the Luzon and the Vis-Min titlists colide in the Final Four at Davao City on February 22-23.