IT’S going to be a busy weekend for the Ateneo Blue Eagles as they play back-to-back games in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup starting on Friday against Emilio Aguinaldo College at The Arena in San Juan.
The Blue Eagles will be eyeing their third win in as many games against the Generals just two days after a 75-70 victory win over San Sebastian on Wednesday.
After the Generals, the Katipunan-based school returns to the court the next day to face off with UAAP men’s basketball finals opponent University of Santo Tomas.
Despite its perfect 2-0 start, Ateneo is still trying to find its rhythm without the benefit of a complete lineup and the absence of a potent big man in the middle.
“It’s hard for me to really get the team fully ready because so far we have not played with our entire lineup,” admitted Ateneo coach Bo Perasol. “So far we’ve held our own but we know there are bigger challenges ahead of us.”
Center JP Erram is not expected to play for Ateneo against Emilio Aguinaldo as he’s expected to rest his left knee which he injured in the ongoing Fr. Martin Cup.
Meanwhile, Ryan Buenafe has yet to play for the Blue Eagles as he’s currently concentrating on his studies this summer.
And yet, the reigning five-time UAAP men’s champion has been playing solid behind the duo of Kiefer Ravena and Chris Newsome, as they averaged 20.5 and 15 points per game respectively, in the team’s first two outings.
Emilio Aguinaldo will play with NCAA Rookie of the Year Noube Happi, a towering 6-foot-7 Cameroonian, Jolas Paguia, Igee King, and Sydney Onwubere.
In other matches, San Beda eyes its second win in three starts when it collides against University of the Philippines at 2:30 p.m., while Perpetual Help and Arellano make their respective debut as they play in the 12:45 p.m. curtain-raiser.