THE Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup has focused its attention on development by including the world championship-bound Philippine youth team and more teams outside the UAAP and the NCAA in this year’s edition set to open on April 26.
Tournament director Joey Guillermo said the Philippine Under-17 boys basketball squad will see action in the preseason event as part of their preparation for the Fiba Under-17 World Championship set August 8 to 16 in Dubai.
In an effort to become more than just a preseason tournament for top school teams, Guillermo said they are giving other schools a chance to develop their teams and have invited Cebu-based Southwestern University, University of San Carlos and University of Visayas, and Holy Trinity of General Santos City.
So far, USC and Holy Trinity have confirmed participation as the league awaits the response of UV and SWU, which competed in last year’s Filoil Cup.
Guillermo said Naascu side Centro Escolar University is also looking to join the tournament.
“This is the first test of really inviting the other schools. If this is successful, eventually we might expand every year to develop other teams,” said Guillermo, following Thursday’s coaches’ meeting at the Brothers Burger Meralco Avenue branch.
Twenty-one schools including seven teams from the UAAP led by defending champion University of the East, and nine from the NCAA, are included in the initial list of participants in the preseason tournament.
Group A is composed of UAAP champion De La Salle, University of Santo Tomas, University of Perpetual Help, UE, Jose Rizal University, Mapua, and UV.
NCAA champion San Beda is in Group B along with Letran, Far Eastern University, Lyceum, Adamson, RP Youth Under-17, and USC.
Group C is comprised of San Sebastian, National University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, College of St. Benilde, University of the Philippines, Centro Escolar University, and Holy Trinity.