Perasol unfazed by loss of players, eyes six-peat for Ateneo
Aldo Avinante (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2013 - 4:12pm

MANILA, Philippines – Six-peat seeking Ateneo Blue Eagles will have their work cut out for them after losing key players in last season's championship run, but new coach Bo Perasol is confident they have what it takes to bring the crown back to Katipunan.

Perasol will have to make do without some of the team’s stars, including Greg Slaughter and Nico Salva, who have graduated.

"I think we can defend the crown this year but it remains to be seen. The most important matter for us right now is the health of all the players," said Perasol, a former Air 21 Express head coach in the PBA.

Aside from the physical factor and their health issues, Perasol is confident that his players have adapted well to his system in the upcoming UAAP wars.

"System wise and with our mental state, we're already 100 percent. But I'm really hoping that by the time the Final Four draws near, we will be 100 percent on all elements of our preparation," he added.

Succeeding the highly successful Norman Black as the new Ateneo mentor, Perasol has been asking advice from the current Talk N Text head tactician.

"I talk to coach Norman all the time. Lagi ko tinatanong sa kanya ano mga importanteng aspect ng pagbuo niya sa five-peat. Magkasunod lang naman kasi practice namin," Perasol explained.

"Defense has been their identity the past few years and I ask advice from him on how to play defense in a high level in the UAAP," he added.

At Tuesday’s press conference announcing Season 76, Perasol bared  that they already changed their offensive sets tailoring to their strength.

"We have lots of changes in our system, especially our offensive sets because we don't have a dominant big man compared to the previous years," said Perasol, pointing out skilled big men Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Greg Slaughter, who are now playing in the PBA and national team, respectively.

"This year, we will be generating our offense around our talented guards especially Kiefer Ravena," he added.

Perasol believes they have the chance to fight for a fourth spot and pointed out three favorites in Season 76.

"NU and UE are the favorites because of their performance in the preseason but I believe UST is also really strong with their experience. Yung mga maiiwan na teams are the ones who will fight for the final slots," said Perasol.

The Ateneo community has been spoiled with their exemplary dominance in their recent stretch especially their historic five-peat run, and Perasol is well aware of their expectations.

"I'm happy we are not one of the teams to beat this season but I think the Ateneo community still thinks we should be. We hope that we can repay their support and we will play our best every game," he ended.

AT TUESDAY ATENEO ATENEO BLUE EAGLES BO PERASOL BUT I FINAL FOUR GREG SLAUGHTER AND NICO SALVA KIEFER RAVENA NORMAN BLACK PERASOL
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