Sydney U has eyes on Ateneo’s guard rotation | Inquirer Sports

Sydney U has eyes on Ateneo’s guard rotation

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:10 AM August 10, 2023

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin (right) puts Ateneo through a hard practice day on Wednesday.—MUSONG R. CASTILLO

Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin (right) puts Ateneo through a hard practice day on Wednesday.

TOKYO—Like everyone else in the World University Basketball Series tournament that gets going on Friday, reigning University Basketball League of Australia champion Sydney U is also cramming to know what kind of opposition it will face.

“All we know right now is that they are a great team, the Philippine champions,” assistant coach Liam Cavanagh-Downs told the Inquirer early Wednesday after arriving at Shinagawa Prince Hotel here.


The Lions and the Blue Eagles clash in a heavyweight battle Friday in a you-or-me game, the novelty format that makes this tournament click and keeps every team on its toes.


“We know that they have great guards. We have clips of this guy and we even think he is Australian,” Cavanagh-Downs said, referring to Jared Brown, the former standout of Westmont College of California seen to take over the reigns from Forthsky Padrigao when the UAAP Season 86 unfurls next month.

“It’s going to be a tough tournament, for sure,” Chandler Skelton, a highly recruited 6-foot-4 guard, said while munching on a sandwich at a 7-Eleven together with some of his teammates. “We will have the rest of the day and then start preparing [on Thursday]. It’s going to be a good game.”

Ateneo planed in on Tuesday and got to work the day after with hard practice. But the Eagles first prepared for Japan’s national Under-21 side for a friendly on Thursday, a match that coach Tab Baldwin welcomes.

“We want to get as many tough matches as we can,” Baldwin said in a separate interview. “We want to learn as much as we can for the UAAP and then play and try to win this tournament again.”

The Blue Eagles swept a leaner field last year on the way to the title and they would have to string together three more wins this year to do it again at Yoyogi National Stadium gym.

Should the Blue Eagles survive the Lions in their 7 p.m. (6 p.m. Manila time) match on Friday, they will advance opposite the winner of the Hakuoh University of Japan versus Perbanas Institute of Indonesia game.


A US NCAA Division 1 team, Radford University, is the headliner in the other bracket. The Highlanders will battle University of Korea, another newcomer, also Friday with the winner advancing opposite the survivor of the National Chengchi University of Taipei versus Tokai match.

The Highlanders also got in on Tuesday and have turned in one practice session.

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TAGS: Ateneo, Basketball, Sydney

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