With the exit of five key players, University of Perpetual Help coach Frankie Lim will have to make do with practically a young roster when the country’s oldest collegiate league – the NCAA – opens shop on Sunday.
But don’t judge them this early as the nine rookies – mostly from Visayas and Mindanao – have what it takes to compete against established stars of the league as they intend to mirror their Final Four showing last season.
Spearheading the promising rookies are 6-foot-5 Ben Adamos, power forward Lean Martell and Lele Guissani from San Beda and Mario Barasi.
Also out to make names for themselves are Jeff Egan from Bukidnon and Ramlee Lanoy from Saint Francis of Assisi and so are La Salle Zobel High School graduates Nathaniel Sevilla and Benedict Jomalesa and Aldeo Lucero from Davao.
Out to guide – and perhaps help toughen them up – are veterans Edgar Charcos, Jielo Razon, Jasper Cuevas, Luke Sese, Kim Aurin, Ton Ton Peralta and Anton Tamayo.
“With the support Perpetual Community and Management and the Team Owner Boss Tony Tamayo and UPHSD President Anthony Tamayo, we will do our best to reach the elusive crown,” said Lim.
Meanwhile, Perpetual Junior Altas coach Myk Saguiguit is likewise upbeat of their campaign this year, having tabbed the services of John Escalante from Ateneo de Zamboanga and two former Adamson Baby Falcons in Mark Banaticla and John Vincent Berwite.
Other new recruits are 6-foot-5 center Johndel Balazuela, Alfonso Manuel, Angelo Gelsano, Jose Mary Ignacio and Gabriel Angeles.