|[Photo credit: Philip Sison/Fabilioh]|
Here is the UAAP Board-approved Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles lineup for Season 76:
Players(So yeah, no Jerie Pingoy. It's Season 1 of his two-year residency period.)
4 Nico Elorde, PG
5 Juami Tiongson, PG
6 Anton Asistio, PG
7 JP Erram, C
8 Isaac Lim, PG
10 Earl Murphy, SG
11 Chris Newsome, SF
12 Gwyne Capacio, SF
13 Ryan Buenafe, SF
14 Vince Tolentino, PF
15 Kiefer Ravena, SG
16 Ivan Enriquez, PF
17 Fran Asuncion, PF
18 G-boy Babilonia, C
19 Von Pessumal, SF
20 Frank Golla, PF/C
Below is the team's coaching staff:
Maybe Season 76 will be the year the Ateneo Blue Eagles are once again popularly known by its old nickname "the Hail Mary Squad."* With the graduation of and injuries to some of their key players, the Blue Eagles are a dark horse for the Season 76 title (think 2010, the middle year of the current five-peat, when ADMU "only" had a 10-4 record in the eliminations as compared to the 13-1 and 12-2 cards in the 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 championship seasons).
Even the competition believes so. UST player Jeric Teng, for example, says NU and DLSU are the teams to beat in Season 76. The tournament's head coaches point to UE and NU as the favorites.
But although this year's Blue Eagles are prime candidates for Bill Simmons' "Nobody Believed In Us!" theory, I don't think the seeming lack of confidence of most everyone other than rabid Ateneo supporters weighs too much on this history-seeking squad. The tantalizing possibility of a sixth straight title ought to be motivation enough.
The complete rosters of all the eight competing basketball teams are here.
*I just love that moniker (chalk it up to eight years of Jesuit "programming" and to college years coinciding with the team's most recent "dark ages"). But with their successes from the Joe Lipa to the Norman Black eras, the Blue Eagles of recent history generally have not seemed like a team that needed an extra "Hail Mary" (or two) to eke out wins.
[26 June 2013 Edit]
Check out these ADMU-related Season 76 previews from ABS-CBN News, Balls Channel, Bleachers Brew, GMA News Online, Hoop Nut, HumbleBola, InterAKTV, Slam Philippines, Sportsmaryosep, and Studio 23.
And here are juniors Ravena and Pessumal, and rookies Asuncion and Enriquez (plus Alyssa Valdez of the Ateneo Lady Spikers) being interviewed by broadcaster Dyan Castillejo.