Monday, 25 March 2013 21 Comments
Defending FilOil Flying V Premier Cup champions National University are heading into the summer competition sans three mainstays of their rotation from last season.
Choice Ignacio and Ajeet Singh are both out of the lineup while Cameroonian Henri Betayene is out with an injury. Two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Ray Parks has only recently gotten back from a hand injury but should otherwise be ready for the summer tournament.
In the place of the missing Bulldogs are former Mapua Red Robins gunner JJ Alejandro and 6’6” Cameroonian forward-center Alfred Arogo to play alongside Troy Rosario. Also playing close to the basket are fourth year forward Glenn Khobuntin and Kyle Neypes.
The new additions will ensure a deep rotation for the Bulldogs that went as much as 12 deep in last year’s UAAP season.
“Just like last year, we want to use this tournament to polish our game,” said third year NU head coach Eric Altamirano whose Bulldogs made the Final Four last season where they were promptly dispatched by UST. “We try to give our new guys more exposure so they will get used to playing with our older players. I’m not really sure how we will do this year but hopefully we will still be playing until the first week of June.”
“I think we’re all a year older and wiser. Hopefully our shortcomings will make us hungrier for some championships this year.”, Parks added.
With all teams beefing up their line-ups, Altamirano expects all schools to take the same approach for the Filoil tourney. “I expect all the teams to be tough this year,” added Altamirano who once played for the UP Fighting Maroons. “But at least for this tournament, we are more focused with how we will play as a team and if we can execute the things that we worked on in the off season.”
The Filoil Flying V Premier Cup is slated for tip-off on April 13, 2013 at the Filoil Flying V San Juan Arena.