With Reports From Kebet Libo-on
With the end of the UAAP diamond season last month, the attention of the public now shifts once again to the first semester sports, particularly basketball. As the buildup to the 76th UAAP Season continues, the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup will be at the forefront of the countdown to the resumption of the collegiate hard court battles. The said league held its kickoff press conference last April 10 at the URBN Club at the Fort Strip.
The Filoil tournament will follow the rules of the UAAP and will not allow players who are deemed ineligible for UAAP Season 76 to suit up. The pre-season league will publicly showcase the prized new recruits of various schools, such as DLSU’s very own rookie Kib Montalbo, for the first time.
An All-Star Game pitting the top players of the tournament to be held on June 8 was also announced during the press conference. The event was a surprise from Joey Guillermo, the Filoil tournament director, who announced a partnership with Unilever Philippines to deliver a much-awaited all-star match involving schools from both the UAAP and the NCAA.
The surprises, however, did not end there as former Atenean and current PBA trooper Chris Tiu along with former San Beda standout Borgie Hermida were named coaches of the all star teams. Tiu will lead Bracket B, which includes a volatile mix of DLSU, ADMU, SSC-R and UST among others, while Hermida will pilot Bracket A which will be bannered by NU, SBC, and FEU to name a few.
When asked if he was worried about his team’s composition, the Rain or Shine guard Tiu answered that the drive to win and bring glory to their respective schools would probably be the driving force for their cooperation. Hermida later commented on the latter‘s team, noting that he is in possession of a strong roster, but not entirely undefeatable. The former Red Lion decided to keep his own choice of players a secret for the time being. Tiu was more open saying that he is counting on players like Jeron Teng, Jeric Teng, Kiefer Ravena, Karim Abdul and Norbert Torres to lead his squad.
The rosters for the All-Star Game, however, will follow a fan voting system wherein the patrons will be given the chance to decide on the starting line-ups. Fans who vote will be given a chance to win one of five pairs of ringside passes to the star studded match-up. The coaches of both squads will choose the reserves in a fashion similar to the All-Star Games of the NBA.