With the exit of five key players from the University of Perpetual Help, coach Frankie Lim has beefed up the line up of the Altas Basketball with the entry of eight rookies, who came from different schools and recruited in Visayas and Mindanao.
The rookie-laden Altas aim to duplicate – and even surpass– last year’s Final Four finish in the company of National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94 champion San Beda University Red Lions, Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates and Letran Knights.
The Las Piñas City-based team is now undergoing intense training inside the newly renovated state-of-the-art basketball court in Barangay Pamplona III, according to Coach Lim.
Lim will mainly rely on holdovers point guard Edgar Charcos, sophomores Jielo Razon, (SG), Jasper Cuevas (PG), Luke Sese (SG), Small Forward Kim Aurin, Forward Ton Ton Peralta and Anton Tamayo–a vital cog for the Perpetual Help Altas.
Transferees 6’5” center Ben Adamos, power forward Lean Martell and Lele Guissani from San Beda University will replace the posts left by NCAA Season 94 MVP Prince Eze, AJ Coronel and Rom Mangalino.
Adamos will be backed up in the interior by 6’7” rookie Mario Barasi Jr. from Far Eastern University-Diliman.
Prized recruits Jeff Egan from Bukidnon and Ramlee Lanoy from Saint Francis of Assisi, who saw action in Philippine Basketball Association D-League last season will show their force in the court.
La Salle-Zobel High School graduates Nathaniel Sevilla and Benedict Jomalesa and Aldeo Lucero from Davao complete the line-up of the Senior Altas.
“The guys are in shape now, they are game ready. I think the other teams don’t expect us in the Top Four, but we can pull off some surprises,” Lim said.
“We have a good chance this season, even though we are under the radar of other teams. We are now battle ready,” Lim added. “Our main target first is to, as much as possible, win games until the end of the double elims. The other one is to enter the Final Four.”
“With the support the Perpetual Help Community and Management and team owner Boss Tony Tamayo and UPHSD President Anthony Tamayo, we will do our best to reach the elusive crown,” Lim added.
Perpetual Junior Altas basketball head coach Myk Saguiguit is also optimistic that his squad will show good character in NCAA Season 95, which unfurls on today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Filled by rookies and transferees, the Altalettes, who have shown impressive wins during the Fil Oil Pre-Season Cup by defeating University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, Jose Rizal University and La Salle-Greenhills.
Holdovers Emman Galman, Edzel Galoy, Yuki Kawamura, Jearico Nuñez, Shin Dela Cruz, Kyle Cuevas and Shawn Orgo are expected to inspire the new recruits to add more teeth on defense and .
Prized catch John Escalante from Ateneo de Zamboanga and two former Adamson Baby Falcons Mark Banaticla and John Vincent Berwite, on the other hand, will be a big help on the perimeter post.
Other new recruits are 6’5” center Johndel Balazuela, Alfonso Manuel, beanpole shooter Angelo Gelsano, Jose Mary Ignacio and Gabriel Angeles.
The Junior Altas finished 5th to 6th last season with a 9-9 win-loss record together with LPU GenTri.
“I know the boys will show their character this season, with the support of the management and team owner Boss Tony Tamayo.” Coach Myk Saguguit said.
NCAA Season 95 unfurls Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City with this year’s theme: Kaisa sa Pagkakaiba. Dennis Abrina