The 2013 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup: Some Questions I Want Answered

The 2013 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup is only a few days away from opening, and with it comes added anticipation for the 2013 college basketball wars. Ever since it started back in 2006, the Filoil tourney has been regarded as the opening skirmish or appetizer for the main battles or dishes that are the UAAP and NCAA (the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, naturally, is the dessert).

Of course, apart from being an added venue to see our favorite collegiate hoopsters in action, the Filoil joust is also an important opportunity to see who the new faces of the amateur hoops scene are, and how each team will probably play in their respective leagues. In line with this, I want to pose a few questions that, hopefully, will be answered by the time the Filoil wars end in early June.

1) Can NU repeat?
The Bulldogs made history last year when they won the Filoil Preseason Hanes Cup thanks to the power duo of Ray Parks and Emmanuel Mbe. This time around, Mbe won’t be eligible (though some NU bigwigs are reportedly trying to find a way around it) and Parks is in the midst of yet another personal tragedy. NU, however, still has one of the most loaded rosters in college ball, so they will inevitably be tagged as a strong contender. But when the chips are down and all the marbles are on the line, can they muster the same magic that propelled their 2012 conquest?

Can the Bulldogs repeat as Filoil Champs?
(image by Jan Dizon/Filoil Flying V Sports)

2) Will DLSU be a power?
DLSU surprised many last summer by advancing to the Filoil Finals against the Bulldogs. On the way, they beat all the eventual UAAP and NCAA Finalists – Ateneo, UST, San Beda, and Letran. Against NU in the Championship Game, however, the Green Archers faltered in the face of Parks’s awesome shooting. Still, this summer’s iteration of the Green & White promises to be even stronger, with most of the core players returning and some key recruits and new faces raring to prove themselves. Among the new names are Visayan hotshot Kib Montalbo, LSGH scoring machine Robert Bolick, and under-the-radar guys like Yankie Haruna, Jason Perkins, and Florida-raised Matt Salem.

3) How will Ateneo play?
This is probably one of biggest Qs of the preseason, what with decorated mentor Norman Black already calling the shots (and winning the Philippine Cup) in the pros and former Powerade tactician Bo Perasol installed as Ateneo’s new brain trust. Early indications point to a VERY different approach to the game on both ends of the floor. Coach Bo has been known to be a “guard’s coach,” which simply means perimeter guys like Kiefer Ravena and Ryan Buenafe will probably be the main foci of the offense and players like Von Pessumal and Juami Tiongson will see significant increases in their touches and shots. The Eagles will be a lot smaller, too, compared to more recent Ateneo quintets, and that might mean their defense will have to shift its priorities as well. Of course, the best way to verify or refute all these assumptions is during the Filoil tourney. #HowFun

4) Who will UST's starting PG be?
Jeric Fortuna went out with a bang last season, leading UST in the final game against Ateneo. He was at his sniping best in that encounter, and he will surely be missed by the España faithful. With the exception of Fortuna, the entire UST starting unit remains intact, and early whispers have implied that Jamil Sheriff might be called back into active duty to inherit Fortuna’s role as the Tigers’ main playmaker. Perhaps other possibilities are former Tiong Lian standouts Robin Tan and Janrey Garrido.

5) How will the prodigal twins fare?
You’ve seen them on a myriad of billboards along C5 and EDSA, but now you’ll see them again where they really belong – on the hardwood playing for the Red Lions. As San Beda tries to nail a fourth straight NCAA crown, it will have the services of balik-Mendiola brothers David and Anthony Semerad, both of whom flirted with the possibility of playing for Ateneo last year. With the exit of Jake Pascual, having the Semerads back is a welcome development for the Lions, but can the twins’ respective games pick up where they left off in 2011?

6) Which new recruits will shine?
Oh man, this is one of the most exciting questions for me. I mean, just look at the following list of new faces to watch this summer:

Ateneo de Manila: Jerie Pingoy (still crossing my fingers that the Dumb UAAP Rule gets revoked or something)
De La Salle: the five aforementioned guys PLUS former Junior Archer Axel Torres
FEU: They always have someone new who’ll “shock” us all, right? #AnotherArwindSantos?
NU: Call-ups from the Bullpups – Raph Atangan, Ralph Busa, and Reggie Morido, but maybe the guys we should all watch out for are 6’6” Wilson Bartolome from Chiang Kai Shek, 6’6” Alfred Arogo from Cameroon, and RP-Youth campaigner J-Jay Alejandro.
Adamson: Cebuano combo forward Dawn Ochea, former Red Cub Archie Iñigo, and Chiang Kai Shek alum Kimlee Bayquin will all try to fill the void left by Eric Camson and Alex Nuyles.
UE: Mario Bonleon was a lights-out shooter for LSGH and the RP-Youth team last year, and he could get a lot of playing time alongside Roi Sumang. Of course, he’s probably praying Sumang actually passes him the ball.
UP: Despite Jett Manuel sitting out the season, the Maroons should still be taken seriously due to their heavy recruitment catch.  Kyles Lao from Xavier, Paul Desiderio from UV, and Andre Paras from LSGH all chose to be Iskos this season.
UST: So far, only former Tiger Cubs Alvin Ungria and Prince Martin have been earmarked for UST, but knowing coach Pido, there are bound to be hidden gems here.
Letran: Maybe the best talent of this batch of newbies is former NCAA Juniors MVP Rey Nambatac. A couple of other schools were trying to recruit him over the offseason, but he chose to stay put in Letran. He should be a heavy contributor right off the bat.

7) Which HS players will turn heads?
Another interesting thing to which we should all pay attention is the Juniors division, where many of tomorrow’s superstars are already laying waste to the competition today. Among the players on whom we should keep tabs are the following:

Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena and Aaron Black: Ravena was a revelation last season, and he should continue to blossom into a do-it-all talent for coach Joe Silva. Black, meanwhile, should also be a heavy contributor when he heals up from his leg injury.

Thirdy Ravena should have a banner year in 2013.
(image from the University Basketball League)

De La Salle Zobel’s Renzo Subido: Subido, a former player for the Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, was born to score, and he should vie for the UAAP’s scoring title together with Ravena. He is the embodiment of small but terrible.
NU’s Hubert Cani: Cani was also a product of the RP-Youth program, and he already showed his brilliance last season. With Atangan and other key players already in the Seniors, the Bullpups are definitely Cani’s to lead.
UPIS’s Raymart Sablan: Sablan is an underrated talent, but he shouldn’t be. He has a high field goal clip from around the basket, and he rebounds better than 99% of guys his age. Should be a legit Seniors prospect when Season 76 ends.
Kobe Paras of La Salle Greenhills: Ready yourself for some high-flying, slam-dunking action with this kid. If you thought Andre was good, then wait till you see his younger bro take it strong.
The San Beda Red Cubs: San Beda is always top-shelf when it comes to basketball talent. This summer, look out for Arvin Tolentino, Rev Diputado, and Andrei Caracut among others.
FEU-FERN, UST, and San Sebastian: All three teams always have at least one guy who will be turning heads. I mean, think about Jerie Pingoy, Kevin Ferrer, and Ryan Buenafe. Where did these guys come from, right? I am SURE we’ll see another potential big time recruit from any of these schools reveal himself this summer.

How about you? What are the college hoops questions you want answered in the 2013 Filoil Flying V Premier Cup? Who are the other players you want to be highlighted? Drop a comment below, or hit me up on twitter @HoopNut.

BTW, here’s the roster of teams and initial schedule of games (all courtesy of Filoil Flying V Sports):

Next Post »
0 Comment