Games Saturday (SGS gym, QC): 9 a.m. – LSGH vs La Consolacion; 10:45 a.m. – SSC-R vs Ateneo; 1 p.m. – Opening Ceremony; 2 p.m. – San Beda vs Xavier; 3:45 p.m. – FEU vs Lyceum
THE 8th Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) Freego Cup opens on Saturday with reigning NCAA champion San Beda looking to launch its title bid in grand fashion at the SGS gym in Quezon City.
Already proud owners of two titles in the tournament dubbed as “Battle of Champions,” the Red Cubs collide with the Xavier Golden Stallions at 2 p.m. before Far Eastern University and Lyceum cap the heavy four-match opener at 3:45 p.m.
Clashing in the opening at 9 a.m. are last year’s runner-up La Salle Greenhills and first-timer La Consolacion College while San Sebastian College tackles Ateneo at 10:45 a.m.
Isko Moreno, the tough but charismatic Manila mayor, will be the special guest along with Rain or Shine star rookie and former PSSBC Finals MVP Javee Mocon and San Beda's Clint Doliquez - the league inaugural MVP – in the short opening ceremony starting at 1 p.m.
Moreno will also do the ceremonial toss along with PSSBC chairman and Freego big boss Eduard Tio.
“We are all thrilled to have the well-loved Manila Mayor as our special guest. We are certain he could further motivate our young ballers to dream big and play hard,” said Tio.
Also set to grace the opening ceremony are the other Governors of the Board – Dioceldo Sy of Blackwater Sports, Jimi Lim of IronCon Builders, Jimmy dela Cruz of Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Rudy Yu of Macbeth Underwear, Dr. Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste, Leoncio Chua and Terry Que of Poly Gloss-Rain or Shine.
Reigning UAAP champion National University starts its title-retention bid in the tournament also backed by Gerry’s Grill, Sumo GI Sheet, Cherrylume, Choi Garden and Molten against La Consolacion on Sunday.
Out to lead the Manu Iñigo-mentored Red Cubs are Rhayyan Amsali, Yukien Andrada, Winston Ynot and Justine Sanchez while Keith Wongchuking, Ryan Yu and Miguel Go will spearhead Xavier’s title bid.
Wongchuking is expected to be a marked man after exploding for a career-high 44 points highlighted by 14 triples.