SWU Cobras' entry to spice up Filoil summer league
MANILA – There will be a new team in the seventh staging of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup.
The pre-season basketball tournament, considered a testing ground for school teams from the NCAA and the UAAP will have a guest team, Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) champions Southwestern University Cobras.
The Cobras, won their first CESAFI championship in the past season after defeating the University of Visayas in five matches.
They have also been in the news due to the transfer of center Ben Mbala to La Salle in the coming season. Taking Mbala’s place in the Cobras’ line-up is 6’10” center, Siewe Armel.
This summer tournament looks to be the most exciting in years as most schools have reloaded for the coming collegiate wars.
With the graduation of many of its veterans, five-time UAAP champion Ateneo looks vulnerable, and many schools are itching to knock the Blue Eagles off their lofty perch.
Ateneo recorded the longest title streak in college basketball since San Sebastian raked in five consecutive NCAA diadems from 1993-98 behind center Rommel Adducul.
Among the notable players expected to make their debuts include:
La Salle’s Kib Montalbo (from St. John’s Institute in Bacolod);
National University’s JJ Alejandro (from Mapua and is suiting up for the first time after redshirting due to national team duty) and Cameroonian Alfred Arogo;
Ateneo’s Christopher Newsome (who has completed his two-year residency after coming over from Rio Rancho High School in New Mexico, USA);
University of the Philippines’ Joseph Marata (who returns to Diliman where he spent his high school years after a two-year stint with La Salle);
Letran’s Ray Nambatac (who moves from the Letran Squires to the Knights); and,
Adamson’s Axel Iñigo (the San Beda Red Cubs point guard who joins the Falcons).
New coaches making their debuts include:
Letran’s Caloy Garcia, who once played high school football for the Squires before switching to basketball with the College of Saint Benilde;
Bo Perasol, who takes over from Norman Black in Ateneo,;
Boyet Fernandez who takes over from Ronnie Magsanoc in San Beda; and,
Nash Racela, who leaves Talk ‘N Text for FEU.
Making a comeback is Michael “Topex” Robinson, who returns to San Sebastian’s bench after leaving last season due to squabbles with team management.
The two brackets are a mix between the various NCAA and UAAP teams.
The schools in Bracket A are:
San Beda College,
University of Perpetual Help Dalta System,
Far Eastern University,
University of the Philippines,
College of Saint Benilde,
Jose Rizal University,
In Bracket B, the teams are:
Ateneo de Manila University,
De La Salle University,
University of Santo Tomas,
University of the East,
San Sebastian College-Recoletos,
Colegio de San Juan de Letran,
Lyceum of the Philippines University,
Emilio Aguinaldo College,
The Filoil Flying V Premier Cup tips off on April 13 at the Filoil Flying Arena in San Juan. The quarterfinals begin on June 3 with the finals to be held on June 12.
The defending champion is National University.