ATENEO is set to skip the coming Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) even though the Blue Eagles are already seeded into the Luzon-Metro Manila qualifiers scheduled to start on November 7.
Team manager Epok Quimpo said the Blue Eagles will not be able to play in the qualifiers for the second straight year mainly because the players are tied down with their studies.
Quimpo also said the school, a three-time PCCL champion, will only return to training early next month after winning the University Games.
“As of now, negative (participation in the PCCL),” said Quimpo. “Hindi maglalaro primarily because of school. Second semester, crucial sa paghahabol sa academics, that’s number one. Number two is because of the training that we will undergo.”
The Eagles were relegated to the Luzon-Metro Manila qualifiers after missing the UAAP Finals, and will join De La Salle, University of Perpetual Help, Jose Rizal University, Centro Escolar University, and two other teams in Luzon in the step-ladder tournament.
The Luzon-Metro Manila champion will move to the Elite Eight made up of UAAP and NCAA champions National University and San Beda, Far Eastern University, Arellano, University of Visayas, University of San Carlos, and Southwestern University to determine the national championship.
The PCCL was formed in hope of determining a true national champion, similar to the US NCAA tournament more popularly known as ‘March Madness.’
But despite its efforts, the league has yet to gain the stature it badly wanted - or the full support from UAAP and NCAA teams since it is being held right after their respective seasons.