RIVALS Ateneo and De La Salle will have their first match-up of the year on June 1 during the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup.
The 4 p.m. match at The Arena in San Juan will cap the elimination round of the tournament and give the two sides the chance to size each other up after both undergoing major changes since their last encounter during the UAAP Final Four last year.
After winning its fifth straight UAAP crown, Ateneo saw Bo Perasol take over the head coaching job left by Norman Black, who returned to the PBA for Talk ‘N Text.
Also gone from that championship team are Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva, Oping Sumalinog and Tonino Gonzaga, leaving Kiefer Ravena, Ryan Buenafe, and Juami Tiongson to carry the fight in the Blue Eagles' quest for a sixth title in a row.
The Green Archers, on the other hand, were successful in landing a blue-chip high school prospect from Bacolod City in Kib Montalbo, who will play Ateneo for the first time.
The Blue Eagles' top recruit, UAAP juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy, will sit out the clash since the preseason tournament is only for players who are eligible to play in the coming collegiate season.
Jeron Teng will once again be leading the charge for the Green Archers after winning the Rookie of the Year award and a place in the Mythical Five in the UAAP last season.
In other marquee match-ups in the summer tournament, Ateneo and University of Santo Tomas, last season’s UAAP finalists, face each other on April 20.
UST will take on La Salle in the opener on April 13, and Letran on May 11.
NCAA champion San Beda faces defending Filoil champion National University on April 13, and Far Eastern University on June 1.
NCAA runner-up Letran faces Ateneo on April 24 and La Salle on May 29.
The Bulldogs will also face FEU on May 15.