Goldwin Monteverde, the soft-spoken mentor of UAAP champion National University, yesterday downplayed that his team are the ‘favorites’, saying anybody can beat anybody in the 8th PSSBC Freego Cup, which opens shop on Dec. 14 at the SGS gym in Quezon City.
“This is a different arena, and I’m sure everybody has its own motivation to beat us and go all the way to the championship,” said Monteverde, who is on his last term as the Bullpups mentor. He will move up to handle the men’s team of NU starting next season’s UAAP.
“Besides bilog ang bola at saka maraming malalakas na teams ngayon,” added the architect of the NU’s 10 championships the past two years, including back-to-back ASEAN Championships.
During the league’s media launch at the ShaTin Courtyard Restaurant in Quezon City, Monteverde picked NCAA champion San Beda University, Lyceum, and Ateneo as the teams who have what it takes to win it all in the annual tournament dubbed as “Battle of Champions”.
“Actually, all teams are strong, so I expect another exciting race for the title,” said PSSBC chairman and Freego big boss Eduard Tio. “The best teams of NCAA and UAAP are here and so are the top three Fil-Chinese schools.”
Also entered in the event — which also has the backing of Blackwater Sports, IronCon Builders, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, Rain or Shine, Hapee Toothpaste, MEC Networks and Macbeth Underwear — are La Salle-Greenhills, La Consolacion, San Sebastian College, Chiang Kai Shek College, Hope Christian, Lyceum, Far Eastern University, Adamson, and Xavier.
San Beda, bannered by former NU star Rhayyan Amsali, Justine Sanchez, Winston Ynot and Yukien Andrada, is bidding for its third title after winning the event in 2014 and 2018.
The annual tournament — which offers P50,000 to the champion — is also backed Gerry’s Grill, Cherrylume Roofing, SUMO GI Sheets, Choi Garden and Molten .