NATIONAL University is hoping to kick off its title-retention bid in style when it battles Ateneo on Friday at the start of the PCABL Dickies Cup at the Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.
Game time is set at 10:45 a.m. with the Lady Bulldogs going for a back-to-back championship having ruled an invitational tournament only two months back.
NU coach Pat Aquino said he will use the tournament to determine the composition of his team for the coming UAAP where they are looking to extend their reign to four years.
Backed by Ever Bilena boss Dioceldo Sy, the Lady Bulldogs made history last year after completing a three-peat without dropping a single game.
Expected to grace the opening ceremony are Jose P. Atienza and Dody T. Arcaya, CEO and vice president for sales and marketing, respectively, of American Star Apparel Philippines – distributor of Dickies in the country.
Out to lead NU are Jack Animam, Rhena Itesi, Ria Nabalan and Trexie Antiquiera.
Vastly improving University of the East looms as the likely rival of NU for the title in the event also backed by Smart Communications, Powerhouse and CW Home Depot.
Also taking part in the tournament are UE, Adamson, Centro Escolar University, University of the Philippines and La Salle.
Clashing in the curtain-raiser at 9 a.m. are UE and La Salle while UP opens its campaign against Adamson at 12:30 p.m.
Tournament Director Horacio Lim said the No. 1 team after the single round elims will advance outright to the semis aside from earning a twice-to-beat advantage.
(Buddhacare gym, Q.C.)
9 a.m. – UE vs La Salle
10:45 a.m. – NU vs Ateneo
12:30 p.m. – Adamson vs UP