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Ateneo fields curious Filoil Flying V lineup

MANILA, Philippines – It is a curious lineup albeit temporary that was submitted by the Ateneo Blue Eagles to the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup.

Of the 14 names submitted to the country’s top pre-season college basketball league, only four suited up in Ateneo’s blue and whites the previous UAAP campaign.

The only names on the Blue Eagles UAAP Season 78 roster are John Apacible, Aaron Black, Chibueze Ikeh, Matt Nieto and Vince Tolentino. The new faces on the squad include Bryan Andrade from the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, Tyler Tio who came up from the Xavier Stallions, and Team B call-ups Jose Manuel Escaler, Louis Timothy Cu, Jay Javelosa, Cole Micek, Marc Salandanan, and Dan Wong, brother of Adrian Wong who made a huge splash last season with his late game heroics. Thirdy Ravena, younger brother of Kiefer, makes his return to the line-up after sitting out last season due academics. Javelosa on the other hand returns to the Team A line-up after moving down to Team B last season.

“It’s a temporary one,” bared assistant head coach Sandy Arespacochaga who added that Ateneo merely complied with the deadline for the submission of players. “We will make changes over the next few days or weeks because many of our players are still unavailable because of their final weeks of class."

Conspicuously missing are Adrian Wong, Arvin Tolentino, Hubert Cani, Isaac Go, Jerie Pingoy, Mike Nieto, and much-ballyhooed transferee CJ Perez. According to Ateneo manager Chris Quimpo, the other players should gradually make a return to the lineup in a couple of weeks upon completion of their academic requirements.

The Ateneo Blue Eagles will also sport a new but familiar figure on the sidelines in team consultant Tab Baldwin who is also the national team head coach.

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Ateneo missed the two previous Filoil Flying V Premier Cups after they opted to train abroad. The team finally returned to domestic pre-season tournaments with Baldwin saying that the exposure will be good for both the coaching staff and the players “as we need to see what we are up against.”

The Blue Eagles make their Filoil debut on Saturday, April 30, against the University of the East Red Warriors at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Tip-off is at 4pm. The opening match will pit Adamson University against De La Salle University at 2 p.m.

In Juniors play, the San Beda Red Cubs take on the Ateneo Blue Eaglets at 6 p.m.

Tickets to the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup are available at the ticket office of the Filoil Flying V Centre as well as all Ticketnet outlets.

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