MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo looms as one of the teams to beat in the 2011 Filoil Flying V Pre-Season Cup after practically retaining its core that won for the Eagles the UAAP championship last year.
Only Eric Salamat and Jason Escueta are missing from this year’s roster.
With the addition of former high school star Kiefer Ravena, the Eagles become an even more formidable contender.
Ravena, son of former PBA superstar Bong Ravena, led the Blue Eaglets to two championships. He also emerged as one of the key players of the RP Youth 18-under squad under its former coach Eric Altamirano.
Dubbed as “The Phenom,” Ravena, dropped 30 points against San Sebastian en route to leading the RP Youth 18-under team to a 93-88 victory in last year’s tournament.
The national team took part in the event as a guest team.
“Kiefer Ravena will be a big part of our line-up this year. We’re lucky that he stayed in Ateneo and I’m looking forward to coaching him since we need a guy like him with the departure of Eric Salamat.
“He’ll definitely be a big asset to the team,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black, who also has three other talented rookies on his roster, namely Gwynne Capacio, Mark Tallo and 6-9 Greg Slaughter.
The tournament has been the favorite venue for teams preparing for the UAAP and NCAA wars.
This year, the 2011 Filoil Flying V Pre-Season Premier Cup, presented by Mighty Bond, has invited Lyceum of the Philippines University as its lone guest squad.
“This is quite a big honor for us and we’d like to thank the orgnizers for inviting us. We may have the weakest team on paper, but we’ll definitely try our best every game,” said Lyceum Pirates coach Boni Tan.
The Pirates earned the distinction of being the first college team to be invited in the premier pre-season tourney by virtue of their impressive performances in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, where they become the only non-NCAA and non-UAAP team to advance to the Sweet 16 for three consecutive seasons (2008-2010).
LPU’s other credentials include being the back-to-back champions in the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISSA), and another back-to-back feat in the Millenium Basketball League (MBL).
Courtesy of http://www.mb.com.ph