Intact Tamaraws lock horns with fortified Eagles

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 06, 2015 01:31 AM
Intact Tamaraws lock horns with fortified Eagles
BAD BLOOD. FEU and Ateneo have gone through many wars in the past and Jerie Pingoy's transfer from FEU-Diliman to Ateneo only gives more color to the rivalry.

Games on Sunday at the MOA Arena

12:00 PM – DLSU vs NU

4:00 PM – FEU vs Ateneo

As if any contest headlined by reigning MVP Kiefer Ravena and Mythical selection Mac Belo needed any more color, former Far Eastern University Juniors star Jerie Pingoy will finally be making his debut in the UAAP 78 Men's Basketball Tournament – but he will be wearing Ateneo de Manila University blue and white.

Pingoy sets out to be the backcourt-mate Ravena needs while Belo reteams with Mike Tolomia as the Blue Eagles take on the Tamaraws on Sunday at the MOA Arena.

The battle between Morayta and Katipunan will be broadcast LIVE at 4:00 PM on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 and streamed LIVE on sports.abs-cbn.com.

Pingoy was one of the most notable cases of a time before the Student-Athletes Protection Act and sat out two years before being allowed to play. Now eligible, the former Juniors MVP is expected to steady the point guard position together with Hubert Cani who himself waited out a year after transferring from Nazareth School of National University.

Coach Bo Perasol would like to have Ravena play off the ball and stay away from point guard duties and as such, the pressure will definitely be on the first-time players to quickly contribute especially against a tough opponent right out of the gate. As Perasol said, “Isa sa pinakamalakas agad kalaban namin. Masusubukan agad ano kaya namin.”

Laughing off his counterpart’s assessment, Tamaraws mentor Nash Racela said, “We might have a slight edge (against Ateneo). They have eight rookies, we have seven.” Still, no matter the number of new faces, FEU will go however far the Belo-Tolomia duo will take them in their last go at the championship.

With defensive enforcer Anthony Hargrove the only notable loss, the pressure is on new reinforcement Prince Orizu to make sure last year’s runners-up do not disappoint as this year’s favorites.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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