ATENEO plays in the UAAP without Kiefer Ravena for the first time in five years but starts a new era with celebrated coach Tab Baldwin as mentor on Sunday in the opener of the Season 79 basketball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Blue Eagles face the University of Santo Tomas Tigers at 4 p.m.
Ateneo head coach Sandy Arespacochaga said players and coaches are learning a lot since Baldwin was tapped as consultant.
“The first thing coach Tab said was to work together. The players and even us coaches are learning a lot. He is definitely a very big influence on the team,” said Arespacochaga.
Ateneo will now lean on Thirdy Ravena, Aaron Black, and Adrian Wong for this season.
UST begins a new UAAP campaign with a new coach in Rodil ‘Boy’ Sablan.
Hired in the summer, Sablan admitted knowing little about the Eagles. The two teams never met in the preseason, but Sablan says that gives neither team an advantage.
“No idea at all. Pero siyempre, same thing with us, hindi kami nakita. We only have two tune-up games against Mapua and Arellano. Doon lang siguro mag-bebase,” said Sablan.