UE battles La Salle, Letran faces San Beda in Filoil opener

MANILA, Philippines - The 9th Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup formally gets underway on Saturday, April 26 as four seniors division matches finally take place at the Filoil Flying V Arena of San Juan.

Last year’s NCAA finalists, defending champions San Beda College and runner-up Letran College battle it out at 2 PM while Filoil Cup's reigning titlists University of the East take on UAAP champions De La Salle University at 4 PM.

The Red Lions will miss Rome De La Rosa who has graduated but head coach Boyet Fernandez hopes that Javee Mocon, a perennial champion with the San Beda Red Cubs in the juniors division, will fill that void.

Another guard is moving up to the collegiate level in Ranbill Tongco, a former PH Youth national team member.

It will be an even tougher beginning for the Letran Knights who are losing NCAA Most Valuable Player Raymond Almazan, power forward Jonathan Belorio, and point guard Franz Dysam.

In the main event, the Red Warriors will be without familiar faces as team captain Adrian Santos, JR Sumido, Ralf Olivares, JM Noble, Jai Flores, and Lord Casajeros all graduated.

It will be the first game of new head coach Derrick Pumaren who took over the reigns of departed head coach Boysie Zamar. To shore up the depleted frontline of UE is 6-foot-6 Cameroonian center Moustaph Arafat who will back up Charles Mammie. 

The Green Archers still remain formidable, only losing LA Revilla to the pros and will have talented newcomers like Abu Tratter, Julian Sargent, Terrence Mustre, and Prince Rivero on hand to extend La Salle’s reign in the UAAP.

Other seniors squads seeing action are the San Sebastian Stags who play the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons at 9:30 AM. The Far Eastern University Tamaraws play the Mapua Cardinals who return to the summer tournament after a one-year sabbatical at 11:15 AM.

Tickets to the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup are available at all SM TicketNet outlets as well as the game venue. - Rappler.com