Tuesday, August 5, 2008



Coach Alvin Zuniga has always found ways to build a competitive team but unfortunately run out of steam as the tournament progresses. This year the Eagles are set to correct all of this as their new team members should do their best to be able to contribute right away. Returnees Ricky Casulla- and Ronald Pacifico man the point while shooting guards Edriane Pineda, Roy Fabian and John Love Pacla should sharpen their shooting skills. Forward Angelo Gabriel Valdes and center Alvin Eusebio complete their veteran cast who are out to return to the final four.


After making it to the finals in just their second season in 2004, the scorpions missed the final four last year. Coach John Ramirez will most likely have Jerico Paulo Magno lead his team to the quarterfinals first and hopefully to the final four. The Scorpions love to play a deliberate half court game and Coach Ramirez teaches his wards the fundamentals on how to play good solid defense which will most likely help them achieve a lot this year.

If their men’s team failed to make it to the final four, their women’s team is now looking forward to defend their first NAASCU crown. Back on the team is last year’s MVP Joi Tolentino who averaged 24 points a game last year and they hope that the experience they got from last year’s finals will help them get back to back titles.


The Flyers have been hugging the bottom of the NAASCU for quite some time now and are hopeful that this season will be a little different. The change starts with the Coach as former FEU Tamaraw Arnold Padaong and Pampanga Dragon who favors the Mike D’Antoni style of run and gun offense will bring his experience to the Flyers starting this season.

To lead the campaign of the Flyers is the best point guard in the Men’s Collegiate Athletic Association (MNCAA) Region 3, Anjomar Porras. Porras will hopefully distribute the ball to Team Captain Joselito Camu, veteran Forwards Roy Tungul and Mark Abuy. Other holdovers include Miguel Bituin, Joselito Camu, Richard Morales, and Jose Marie Teodoro are expected to carry the fight for the flyers and hopefully advance to the quarterfinals. Much is not expected of them but do not count them out for on a bad shooting day they will definitely pound you and try earnestly to get an upset.


Undermanned and underdogs but always plays with their hearts. It will be another long season for the Hardy Herons as there wasn’t much activity on their side during the off season. Head Coach Mike Tolentino must push the right buttons as his team must rely on Team Captain John Vic Tapit to inspire the UMAK team to improve on their last place finish. There are not much expectations on this teams but no team should also count them out.


The two new teams Informatics and Lyceum of Subic are both raring to go and would want their maiden season to be something to look forward to.


Informatics’ addition to the NAASCU will definitely spice up the battle of the IT schools, with STI and AMA already members of the league. Informatics hired former San Beda Red Lions coach, Budds Reyes, to lead the team who will be known as the Icons. The team joined the Fr. Martin Cup and NIKE Summer League, two prestigious developmental leagues, last summer to gauge the selected players' capabilities compared to the more seasoned NCAA and UAAP cagers. Coach Budds has prepared a four-year developmental plan focusing on a very aggressive recruitment and fundamental skills training program to give the current NAASCU teams a run for their money. Leading the Icons is their team captain Manuel Soriano.


After being accepted as the league’s 12th team the Sharks who is ably coached by former San Beda Red Lion Kerwin McCoy, were immediately called the darkhorse of the league. This team has remained undefeated in the all Olongapo inter-collegiate basketball tournaments since 2005. The squad is also the current defending champion of the Men’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (MNCAA) -Region 3 and the National’s 2nd runner-up (of the same league).

Team captain Lawrence Anthony “L.A.” Gapasin and forward Rolliver Valencia were both selected in MNCAA’s Mythical Five. While rookie baller Patrick CampaƱa is expected to make waves this year. Gapasin and Valencia, together with guard Mark Jason Espinelli, center Billy Ray Labadan and forward Jessie James Collado make-up the starting five.The Sharks’ stellar record can be attributed to their run and gun offense, finishing off fastbreaks with their quick scoring ability for the easy twos.


As the NAASCU prepares for its 8th season a new rivalry is in the works. In five out of the seven seasons of the NAASCU the University of Manila Hawks came out as the league champion. If we were to gauge their performance last season, then this year’s team would be the team to beat. On the other hand, the team they beat for their fifth title in 2005, the STI College Olympians, got back at them last year to win their first NAASCU Title. It is the first time the Hawks lost in the NAASCU finals. They are now 1-1 in the finals and both teams are ready to break the tie. Come August 8, 2008 , the STI College Olympians and the University of Manila Hawks, the newest NAASCU rivalry size up each other in the battle of favorites.

The Rizal Memorial Coliseum will definitely be jampacked when the 8th SEASON of the NAASCU opens so get your tickets now and see you in the games.

NOTE: This primer also came out of the August edition of BASKETBOLISTA

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