Blue Eagles flying to Greece, Singapore, Australia for UAAP 82 preps
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 25, 2019 09:10 PM
Ateneo will finally be able to fly out of the country for overseas training
With the 2019 PBA D-League championship all wrapped up and headed to Katipunan, Ateneo de Manila University can now set its sights on its title defense for the upcoming UAAP 82.
For that, the Blue Eagles will finally get to leave their nest and get themselves some overseas training. "We're leaving next week and we'll have a training camp in Greece. That'll be pretty brutal to be honest," head coach Tab Baldwin told reporters not even half an hour after they hoisted their trophy in the developmental league, Tuesday at Ynares Center in Pasig.
He then continued, "Then we'll go to Singapore and play against the Singaproe national team before heading down to Australia. We have a few games in Perth and also in Melbourne."
This is the second year in a row that Ateneo will be flying to Greece in preparation for its title defense. Obviously, the last time they did so worked wonders as they won back-to-back championships.
More than that, though, it's the bond between his boys that coach Tab wants to see get better. As he put it, "It's a great experience, I think, for the boys to understand the difficulties that long tours represent. They got to be away from home and get to bond together as a team."
He then continued, "That's where we learn to help each other through everything that we face. And you know, that's a lot when you go on tour."
Along with that, the overseas training will also be the ideal time for the Blue Eagles' coaching staff to see who are more than capable to fill out the rest of their roster – as two spots were vacated by graduated Anton Asistio and Aaron Black who is now starring in the MPBL and two more may be left open by Raffy Verano and Jolo Mendoza who are both dealing with academic deficiencies.
With that in mind, the two-time collegiate champion coach mentioned former NCAA Jrs. MVP Troy Mallillin, former UAAP Jrs. Champion Jason Credo, and Filipino-Kiwi forward Patrick Maagdenberg as Team B players who will be going along to Greece, Singapore, and Australia.
Coach Tab also said that new recruits Dwight and Eli Ramos will also be joining them there. Dwight had been a 23 for 23 Gilas Pilipinas cadet, but will still have to undergo one year of residency while Eli, who most recently opened eyes with FilAm Sport USA in the 2019 NBTC, will be good to go right away.
Still, no roster spot is assured as Ateneo gets down and dirty in preparation for another title defense. "We've had to expand the pool a little bit so we'll take those guys overseas. There, we'll let them fight it out," their brilliant tactician said.
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