Green Archers brace for Filoil Premier Cup title defense

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LA Salle sets in motion its defense of the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup title as it sees action right away during the tournament opener on May 1 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

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The Archers face-off with the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in the kick-off game of a Monday tripleheader set at 1:30 p.m.

Ateneo later takes on Lyceum in the 3:15 p.m. second game, before Adamson clashes with Arellano at 5 p.m. to cap the opening day of the league’s 11th season.

Tournament director Joey Guillermo expects a tough competition this year as all eight teams from both the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are competing in the meet that runs until June 25.

“We see a very competitive season. All the teams are really prepared and nobody wants to be in the cellar,” said Guillermo Tuesday in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.

The 18 teams had been divided into two groups.

Rivals La Salle and Ateneo are both bracketed in Group A along with Jose Rizal, Letran, Lyceum, defending NCAA champion San Beda, Perpetual Help, University of the East, and University of Santo Tomas.

Far Eastern University and National University banner Group B together with Adamson, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Mapua, San Sebastian, and University of the Philippines.

Each team is allowed to list a total of 20 players in its roster, which is subject to change at least until the school’s third game in the tournament, said Guillermo in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Golden Phoenix Hotel, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

As an added attraction, the Filoil Flying V-Thunder, the newest commercial team to join the PBA D-League, are also seeing action in the meet and will play eight of the participating schools as part of its tune-up games.

“These are mainly exhibition games, so the results are not reflected in the standings,” added Guillermo.

Tournament format will have the top four teams in each group advancing to the crossover playoffs, knockout-style that begins on June 21. The top four survivors advance to the semis – also a crossover playoffs – on June 23, with the two remaining teams to emerge disputing the championship on June 25.

Games will be shown through live streaming at www.filoilflyingvsportstv.online.

The juniors division meanwhile, is comprised of 12 teams also divided into two groups.

Ateneo and La Salle are bunched together again in Group and joined by Letran, Lyceum, National University, and San Beda, while Group B will have Far Eastern University-FERN, Jose Rizal, Mapua-Malayan, University of the East, University of Santo Tomas, and University of the Philippines Integrated School.

Eliminations are also a single-round robin format, with the top two teams per group making it to the crossover semis. The top two teams after the Final Four then dispute the championship in a winner-take-all affair.

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