Sunday, 21 June 2009 12,635 Views / 129 Comments
University of Perpetual Help Altas
2008 Record: 2-12, 8th place
Head Coach: Boris Aldeguer (1st Year)
Key Losses:Â Rommel Balboa, Franz Dysam, Neil de la Cruz, Mike Kong, Jibbson Kong, Andy Mejos, Harry Petilos, Ronald Reyes
Key Additions: Jonathan Belorio, Billy Carullo, Chrisper Elorpe, Lester Dickens, Michael de la Cruz, Vincent Medrana, Lawrence Manalo, Stevenson Suyat, Jason Salvado, Dale Villadoes.
Holdovers:Â Raffy Ynion, Nathaniel Salanga, John Galabin, Rommel Vivero, Christian Liaz, Robert Hainga
Background: Newly appointed Head Coach Boris Aldeguer will have his hands full this Season from an already dismal performance last year.Â Â Though this former coach from the De La Salle Zobel Green Archers know how to win, still, doubts linger on how the Altas will perfom in Season 85 with the kind of material they’ve assembled for the war ahead.
Key Changes:Â With Ronald Reyes and Neil De La Cruz out due to an ACL injury while Franz Dysam opted to stay in his hometown of Cebu City to attend to some family matters, the point Guard chores will be left in the hands of rookie Chris Elorpe.Â John Galabin will be expected to start as the utility man for this squad and will be expected to contribute more from his 3-points in 15 minute production last year.
Outlook: Without a legitimate big man on board, Coach Aldeguer will have to rely on natural small forward, Nathaniel Salanga and burly Raffy Ynion to take care of the shaded area on both ends.Â Coach Aldeguer will have to focus his point of attack from the perimeter and on occasion, if situations would permit, the Altas can draw out the opposing team’s big man then use their natural abilities to take advantage.Â With their lack of ceiling, expect the Altas to rebound the basketball by committee and Coach Aldeguer to preach transition defense.
Prognosis: Even with his credentials, without much talent, Coach Aldeguer will have to whip-in his creative juices to keep the Altas on course in every quarter, in every situation of every game for them to win, and it will be a struggle.Â â€œI have some recruits in the pipeline and are now undergoing residency but that will be for next seasonâ€, said Coach Aldeguer.Â This Season 85, learning will be a plus, but winning will be another huge minus for the Altas this year.
San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags
2008 Record: 9-5, Fifth, Eliminated in a playoff for a Final Four slot
Coach:Â Renato Agustin (1st Season)
Key Losses:Â Jason Ballesteros, Franz Delgado, Froilan Saquillo, Jim Viray, Vergel Zulueta,
Key Additions:Â Calvin Abueva, Raffy Gusi, Jason Gatchalian, Erickson Gatchalian, Dexter Maiquez, Ronald Pascual, Ian Sangalang.
Holdovers: Jimbo Aquino, Raymond Maconocido, Mark Bringas, Gilbert Bulawan, Jonathan Semira, Dave Najorda, John Paul Raymundo, Anthony Del Rio, Roberto Bartolo
Background: If it wasn’t for the JRU Heavy Bombers’ resurgence late in the elimination round, San Sebastian could be tasting its first trip to the Final Four since Season 81.Â But even without Jason Ballesteros and Jim Viray, newly appointed Golden Stags Head Coach, Ato Agustin, will still have the priviledge of leading this team to another crack at the playoffs and maybe, all the way to the finals.
Key Changes: Changes are for the better.Â The Golden Stags have just added more weapons into their stockpile of an already skillful line up.Â Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual and Ian Sangalang are legitimate â€œbasketball playersâ€ that can play on both ends in two or maybe up to three positions.Â Raymaundo, Aquino, Bringas, Bulawan and Najorda already form a reliable core for, adding these three into the mix will make the Golden Stags a nasty team ready for primetime.
Outlook: With the massive build, the Golden Stags are now poised to at least reach the Final Four.Â The possibility of going all the way to the finals is on the horizon.Â This team have been prepped to match up with anyone in the league plus the fact that Coach Agustin is a proven winner since his playing days in the pros and that alone can inject some needed toughness, a staple they lacked last year under Coach Jorge Gallent.
Prognosis: The Golden Stags are ready to turn the corner this Season 85.Â They have the manpower, the pieces plus the skills with a new coach, San Sebastian has the opportunity to go all the way.
San Beda College Red Lions
2008 Record: 11-3, Split Final Four Series with the Mapua Cardinals, NCAA Season 84 Champions vs. JRU Heavy Bombers, 2-1, 3rd Straight NCAA Title.
Head Coach: Frankie Lim (3rd year)
Key Losses:Â Sam Ekwe, Pong Escobal, Ogie Menor, Kris Taupa, Eduardo Canlas
Key Additions:Â Sudan Daniel, Rome de la Rosa, Anjo Caram
Holdovers: Chico Tirona, Borgie Hermida, Bam Gamalinda, Jom Villanueva, J.R. Tecson, Jay-R Taganas, Dave Marcelo, Jake Pascual, Gino Soliman, Garvo Lanete.
Background: Three Championships is an accomplishment for an Institution that has waited 28 years.Â For a team that is so talented, it lost focus in a mid-season mix up with unexpected events and was on the verge of self-destruction at seasons’ end if not for Coach Frankie Lim’s iron hand that kept the ship sailing until confetti flowed from above the coliseum to ceremoniously ignite San Beda’s historic quest.
Key Changes: Leadership and imposing elements in this team will be slightly absent with Pong Escobal and Sam Ekwe finally hanging up their collegiate jerseys.Â Borgie Hermida, with a bit of a disability after suffering an ACL injury during the 2008 PCC, will have to take the cudgels at the Point Guard spot assuming his playing condition is up to par.Â While Hermida is getting his game rhythm back, expect Chico Tirona or Jom Villanueva to share some minutes at the point guard spot.Â After a year of waiting, Sudan Daniel will finally suit up his Red and White uniform to take care of the middle on both ends.Â Su has showed some improvement during the later part of the preseason after their training in Indiana, U.S.A.Â Another great addition is 6’3 two-guard, small forward Rome de la Rosa touted as the actual replacement to Ogie Menor who opted to turn pro after years of service with San Beda.
Outlook: The Red Lions are still loaded but this edition is not as overawe as last year.Â For 3rd year head coach Frankie Lim, this will be the most challenging season of his collegiate coaching career.Â The Red Lions still have the experience and talent to realistically reach the Final Four, better yet, enter the Finals for the 4th consecutive time.Â But a 4th consecutive title? I sincerely believe that the gas has run out and its about time to put their feet back on the ground.
Prognosis: The Red Lions are still strong in all departments.Â The Red Lions had three championships not because of their offense, its their stern commitment to defense that has made them tough to beat.Â Their defense triggers their transition attack and their offense is sound when they share the ball and head hunt for the open man.
Arellano University Chiefs
Credential: 14th and 15th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Back to Back Champions
Head Coach:Â Cresencio Ablan, Jr. (1st Year)
Key Losses:Â Jordan Melano and Orlando Daroya.
Holdovers:Â Jerome Agustin â€“ Guard, Leonard Anquilo â€“ Guard, Andrian Celada â€“ Forward
Isaiah Ciria Cruz â€“ Forward, Giorgio Ciria Cruz â€“ Center, Ronnel Del Rosario â€“ Center
Ed Rivera â€“ Center, Rodrigo Apostol â€“ Guard, Jerry Miranda â€“ Shooting Guard, Allen Paul Virtudazo â€“ Forward
Additions: Rodan Reducto (Rookie)â€“ Forward, John Marco Tayontong (Rookie) – Guard
Ralph Crysler Salcedo (Rookie) â€“ Forward, Erwin Catapang (Rookie) â€“ Center, Mark Russel Dimla (Rookie) â€“ Guard
Background: The Chiefs are entering Season 85 with a lot of enthusiasm.Â Their much publicized echoing intentions of joining the league has finally been answered.Â Now that their here, can they handle the limelight of playing in the oldest collegiate league in the land?Â The answer is just days away.
Key Changes: Arellano will be without two of their most valuable assets in multi faceted swingman Orlando Daroya and utility man Joudan Melano.Â Interesting note though, the Chiefs will be parading probably on record, the smallest point guard to play in the NCAA, 5’1 Leonard Anquilo.Â Jerome Agustin will start as led point guard while Allen Paul Virtudazo can easily switch from small forward to two-guard depending on need when the smaller but speedy Anquilo is on the floor.Â Veteran Adrian Celada will be their primary scorer to compliment the Ciria Cruz’s â€“ Gio and Isaiah in the shaded area while Center Ed Rivera will come off the bench for relief duties.
Outlook: It is Junji Ablan’s rookie year as head coach.Â Athletic Director and former head coach Leo Isaac made sure that he left the Chiefs in capable hands by appointing his former deputy from his coaching days with the Cardinals. With almost half the roster filled with fresh manpower, expect the Chiefs to struggle but will make life miserable for some teams in the league.
Prognosis: If they play up to their potential and put their money were their mouth is, Arellano can do some damage if the others start to take them for granted and not pay attention, after all, a badge that says back to back champions is a rarity in any league.Â They came into the NCAAÂ a winner and the Chiefs will surely come out every game to prove a point.
Angeles University Foundation Great Danes
Head Coach: Eric Gascon
Projected Starting Five: Dian Paulo Henson â€“ 5’7 Point Guard, Aaron Santos â€“ 6’1 Shooting Guard, Limmuel Moises Manarang â€“ 6’2 Small Forward, Matthew Gray Carney â€“ 6’4 Power Forward, Tristan Perez, Small Gerard Gigante â€“ 6’4 Center
Off the Bench: 6’2 Jethron Dumlao, 6’3 Guian Arnell Fuertez, 5’7 Patrick Musni
Others: Donald Kenneth Calma, 6’4 Jon Cayanan, Chucky Gomez, 6’3 Rowell Maniago, Tristan Perez, Ralph Nacu, Kevin Frederick Sazon.
Another proven winner with a National Students Basketball Championship under its belt, the Great Danes are another addition in the NCAA’s long search to fill the last remaining slot in the league.
There are two players to watch for in the Great Danes line up namely, Filipino American Forward Matthew Carney and exciting and athletic utility man Aaron Santos.Â Questions arise on how the Great Danes will perform is a much bigger stage.Â But if they’re looking for a challenge, they really came to the right place to strut their stuff.
1. Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers
2. San Sebastian College Recoletos Golden Stags
3. San Beda College Red Lions
4. Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights
5. College of St. Benilde Blazers
6. Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals
7. University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas
8. Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals
9. Arellano University Chiefs
10. Angeles University Foundation Great Danes
Finals: Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers vs. San Beda Red Lions
Champion: Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers
Catch more of our Previews in REBOUND with myself, Chris Soler, Ric Olivares, and Bill Velasco.
Coming to your favorite bookstores and magazine stands on June 30, 2009.