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League champs La Salle, San Beda grouped together anew in FilOil tourney

The road to back-to-back titles begins for La Salle. (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Reigning UAAP champion La Salle and NCAA champion San Beda are once again in one group of the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup starting on April 29.

In a copy of the grouping obtained by Dugout Philippines during the technical meeting about the said tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City on Thursday, the Green Archers and the Red Lions are placed in Group A alongside their rivals, the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

San Beda's NCAA archrival Letran is also in Group A alongside JRU, Lyceum, Perpetual Help, UE, and UST.

The other group will have Adamson, Arellano, CSB, EAC, FEU, Mapua, NU, San Sebastian, and UP.

Teams will play a single-round robin elimination among their groups with the top four teams from each cluster heading to the knockout stages.

The winners of the crossover quarterfinals on June 21 will then head to the semifinals on June 23, where the winners will face off on June 25 for all the marbles. All games will be held at the said venue.

As an added spice, newly-founded PBA D-League side Flying V will take on eight of the participating teams in no-bearing tune-ups.

The Green Archers are tentatively booked to face the Red Warriors at 2 p.m., while the Red Lions are scheduled to battle the Blue Eagles at 4 p.m. on opening day.

However, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez bared to Dugout Philippines that the said match against Ateneo is set to be played at a different date.

"[FilOil Flying V Sports] already know that we will not be playing Ateneo on April 29 because we're leaving on that date. We already sent a notice," said Fernandez, who at the time of the technical meeting was coaching the San Beda-backed Cignal squad in the D-League Aspirants Cup Finals at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Asked on the reason why he wanted to move the said game, Fernandez continued, "We're leaving for the [United] States for the summer training of the Red Lions so that we can really bond there as a team. We'll probably be back [by May] 20 or 21, and we go right away into action in FilOil."

The final schedule of the FilOil tournament will be released after Easter.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno