THE seventh season of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup tips off next week at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan with an explosive triple header.
San Beda, winner of three straight NCAA titles, takes on National University at 2 p.m., La Salle and UST collide at 4 o’clock, while five-time UAAP champion Ateneo goes up against guest team Southwestern University in the 6 p.m. match.
The Lions will have familiar faces in Anthony and David Semerad, who are back in San Beda red following a botched transfer to Ateneo two seasons ago. They will also have a new head coach in Boyet Fernandez, who recently steered Philippine Basketball Association D-League side NLEX to its fourth consecutive title.
The Semerad twins are expected to provide much needed experience and depth this coming college basketball season for Fernandez more so after the graduation of old reliables Jakes Pascual, Anjo Caram, and Melo Lim.
National University is without Choice Ignacio, Ajeet Singh, and Henri Betayene, but the Bulldogs will be parading new Cameroonian forward center Alfred Arogo who takes the injured Betayene’s slot in the rotation.
The Blue Eagles will face Cebu side Southwestern University Cobras and 6-foot-10 center, Siewe Armel, who replaced La Salle recruit Ben Mbala.
Ateneo is now coached by former Powerade mentor Bo Perasol and will be led by Kiefer Ravena, Ryan Buenafe, and Juami Tiongson.
In addition to the seniors and juniors divisions of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, a women’s division will he also held for the first time. Participating teams include Adamson, Ateneo, Centro Escolar University, College of St. Benilde, La Salle, Far Eastern University, Lyceum, National University, UP, and UST.