ATENEO patron Manny V. Pangilinan is one in supporting the school's decision to pull out of all preseason tournaments where the Blue Eagles are competing, including the Filoil Flying V Hanes Pre-Season Cup.
The sportsman-businessman acceded to the move, stunning as it may be, as the rigors of playing almost on a daily basis in different tournaments had taken its toll on the team.
On Saturday night, team manager Paolo Trillo confirmed the Blue Eagles will not finish their stint in the two ongoing summer tournaments owing to the injuries that sidelined at least five of their players.
The announcement came after Ateneo beat long-time rival La Salle, 78-70, at The Arena in San Juan.
“I just knew about it (decision) today," MVP shared to Spin.ph. "But I think mukhang tama lang na mag-pull out. They need to rest, they just came from a very strenuous training in Vegas, and in Japan they played everyday."
Ateneo played with just 10 players in the game against La Salle as Gboy Babilonia (hurting shoulder), JP Erram (MCL), Gwynne Capacio (pulled hamstring), Von Pessumal (finger injury) and Kris Porter (knee injury) are all out with various injuries.
Porter is actually out for the entire 76th season of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament that starts next month.
Until calling it quits, Ateneo had won all but one of its games in the Filoil Cup. The Eagles carry a 7-1 (win-loss) record, their lone loss coming at the hands of University of Santo Tomas, 57-63, last April 20.
But looking on the bright side of things, Pangilinan said the decision will make the team well rested and ready for the coming UAAP wars, where Ateneo will be gunning for a sixth straight title.
"Yes, I think so (pulling out from Filoil) will make them fresh for the UAAP. We are gunning for our sixth straight championship," he said.
"But ako naman I just expect them to play hard and let's see if it would lead us to a six-peat," added Pangilinan.