La Salle opens FilOil title defense right on opening game versus JRU

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By Ivan Saldajeno

TAGUIG—La Salle's defense of the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup championship begins right at the first game of the tournament.

The Green Archers, who are also the reigning UAAP champs, start their life without Jeron Teng against NCAA Final Four contenders JRU Heavy Bombers in the very first game of the 2017 edition on May 1 at 1:30 p.m.

The other games of Day 1 will have Ateneo battling Lyceum at 3:15 p.m. and Arellano, the other protagonist in last year's FilOil final, starting its own life sans its own former star, Jio Jalalon, against Adamson at 5 p.m.

The juniors division will begin two days later with JRU locking horns with UST at 9:30 a.m. and FEU clashing with Malayan in a battle between reigning mother league champs at 11:15 a.m.

The five-game card on May 3 continues with three seniors matches, CSB versus Mapua at 1:30 p.m., Adamson versus San Sebastian at 3:15 p.m., and UE versus Ateneo at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, incoming PBA D-League club Flying V begins its buildup for the Foundation Cup on May 5, banging bodies with FEU at 3:15 p.m. as part of a four-match fixture.

La Salle-Greenhills takes on NSNU in the lone juniors game at 11:15 a.m., while NU's seniors squad begins its journey with new coach Jamike Jarin against EAC at 1:30 p.m. Ateneo battles UST in the main game at 5 p.m.

Despite the SEABA Men's Championship taking place on May 12-18, the FilOil tournament continues on May 12, 14, 15, and 17 with a five-game schedule each.

San Beda, which was initially scheduled to play in the opener but begged off due to schedule conflict with its training camp in the United States, will begin its new journey with returning coach Boyet Fernandez on May 24 against Lyceum at 5 p.m.

It's actually a San Beda-Lyceum doubleheader on that day as their high school counterparts collide at 11:15 a.m., after the 9:30 a.m. curtain-raiser between Ateneo and NSNU.

The other seniors games on that day will pit off UP and EAC at 1:30 p.m. and UST and JRU at 3:15 p.m.

The tournament will run until June 25.

All games will be at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno