UAAP standouts banner 'Smart Elite'

Members of the 'Smart Elite' | Photo by Joey Villar

MANILA, Philippines - Smart Communications named Gilas cadet standouts Kiefer Ravena of Ateneo, Prince Rivero of La Salle, Far Eastern U's Mac Belo and Santo Tomas' Kevin Ferrer as heads of the nine-man sports ambassadors from the UAAP known as "Smart Elite.

Ravena, Rivero, Belo and Ferrer were vital cogs in Gilas' gold medal campaign in last June's Singapore Southeast Asian Games and would be the marquee players when the 78th UAAP cage wars unfolds on Saturday at The Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Others named to the elite squad during rites at Caliburger in Century City Mall in Makati City on Wednesday were Gelo Alolino of reigning UAAP champion National U, returnee Jett Manuel of State U, Ateneo's Von Pessumal, Adamson's Dawn Ochea and University of the East's Paul Varilla.

"We encourage young Filipinos to take inspiration from these athletes who have displayed outstanding basketball skills and fierce passion for the sport," said Smart Sports senior manager Christopher Quimpo.

"We support the Smart Elite as they continue to live more by pursuing their passion, in the same way that we are enabling millions of Filipinos to fully enjoy their passions, be it music, films, urban living, or sports--through meaningful innovations.

"This is what Smart life is all about," he added.

For Ravena, who is seeking to end his final year with a UAAP championship, setting a good example to the youth will be his utmost priority.

"As members of Smart Elite, we have the responsibility to be shining examples to our fans inside and outside the basketball court," he said.

Smart is encouraging NCAA fans to use their mobile devices to view the official livestream at the ABS-CBN Sports site, sports.abs-cbn.com.

Smart, along with PLDT Home, partnered with ABS-CBN for online livestreaming of UAAP events to enable more Filipinos to live the "Smart Life" by using digital innovations to enjoy their passions more.

Smart is a staunch supporter of sports development in the country having backed the NCAA, Gilas Pilipinas, Sinag, Azkals and some of the country's sports programs like boxing and taekwondo among others through its chairman Manny V. Pangilinan.

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