Far Eastern University and Ateneo face rough sailing in their title campaigns after being drawn in tough groups in the 8th PSSBC Freego Cup, which starts on Saturday at the SGS gym in Quezon City.
The Baby Tamaraws are bracketed in Group C along with NCAA runner-up Lyceum and Fil-Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation runner-up Chiang Kai Shek College. Meanwhile, the Eaglets are with inaugural champion Hope Christian High School and San Sebastian College in Group B.
“Only the fittest and the toughest teams will survive in those groups, but it’s going to be exciting,” said PSSBC Chairman and Freego big boss Eduard Tio. “But it’s good for all of them. They will learn valuable lessons after the tournament.”
Tio — along with league patrons Dioceldo Sy of Blackwater Sports, Jimi Lim of IronCon Builders, Jimmy dela Cruz of Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Rudy Yu of Macbeth Underwear, Dr. Cecilio Pedro of Hapee Toothpaste, Leoncio Chua and Terry Que of Poly Gloss-Rain or Shine — are staging the ‘Tournament of Champions’ in order to help young ballers gain more experience.
“It’s our own little way in helping these high school players prepare themselves, as some of them will enter college two years from now or even next year,” said Que.
Reigning titlist National University, on the other hand, landed in Group A along with La Salle Greenhills and La Consolacion College.
NCAA champion San Beda University is drawn with equally strong teams Xavier and Adamson in Group D of the event also backed by Gerry’s Grill, Sumo GI Sheet, Cherrylune, Choi Garden, and Molten.
Out to lead San Beda-Taytay to its third title are Justine Sanchez, Rhayyan Amsali, Yukien Andrada, and Winston Ynot. Meanwhile, the Xavier Golden Stallions will be led by Miguel Tan, Ryan Yu, and the sweet-shooting Keith Wongchuking.
Wongchuking recently made heads turn when he buried 14 triples on the way to scoring 44 points in the team’s victory over Rizal in the Breakdown 17-Under Tournament.