The Green Archers will be fielding a 20-strong line-up for this year’s edition of the Fil-Oil Flying V Pre-Season Premier Cup which will start this Saturday, April 9 at the Fil-Oil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
After a promising fourth-place finish in the last UAAP season and a bronze finish in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) last December, the Archers will finally field their line-up which will face an acid test in what is considered as a preview of the upcoming UAAP Season 74.
A total of six rookies will be fielded by the Archers, including Former De La Salle-Zobel standout Arnold Van Opstal, who will finally be able to patrol the shaded lane for the Green-and-White squad along with Filipino-Canadian Norbert Torres. Further adding to their frontline will be former San Beda Red Cub Ponso Gotladera and Michael Patefrom La Salle Greenhills.
Their size will greatly help the La Salle frontline of Maui Villanueva, Yutien Andrada, Papot Paredes, and Jovet Mendoza, who, despite their relative lack of size against the more formidable frontline of other teams, were able to lead the league in rebounds last season.
The one and two spots will be further bolstered with the addition of ex-JRU Light Bomber Louie Vigil and another San Beda Red Cub, Dan Sara. Returning from a two-year absence will be LA Revilla, who already showed flashes of brilliance during the Fr. Martin Cup.
These young guards will be joined by Simon Atkins, the team’s lone senior player, along with Nico Elorde, Almond Vosotros, Luigi Dela Paz and Oda Tampus. Joseph Marata, Joshua Webb, Aiki Herrera and Martin Reyes will likewise be returning, and they will all be a year wiser.
There are 17 teams which are in the hunt for the Fil-Oil crown, including reigning UAAP champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, who will finally field their highly touted line-up, and NCAA titlists the San Beda Red Lions. Defending champions San Sebastian Stags, are likewise tournament favorites, along with the bridesmaids, the FEU Tamaraws.
Their first assignment will be the UST Growling Tigers, a team known for skipping pre-season tournaments in order to keep their player roster under wraps. Coach Pido Jarencio’s calling card, however, was not effective last season, as his squad only finished seventh behind the UP Fighting Maroons. Further bolstering their heft is the addition of Tiger Cub Kevin Ferrer, who was a member of the Mythical Five of the Juniors Division.