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Clash of reigning HS champs highlight opening day of FilOil Premier Cup

Ateneo's UAAP Jrs. title retention bid will have a clash of champions to begin their preseason. Francesca Nicole Collantes/file
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--A mouthwatering triple-header will open the twelfth season of the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup in San Juan on April 21, as it will feature guest teams in both the juniors and the seniors division for the first time since 2014.

Gilas Cadets will be in the country's premier preseason tilt for the very first time as they make their debut in the seniors' side against defending UAAP champs Ateneo at the final game to tip-off at 6:30 p.m.

After the noontime opening ceremonies, a clash of champions in high school basketball will serve the perfect appetizer to the day at 2:30 p.m. with reigning NCAA champs La Salle Greenhills taking on the Ateneo who are the UAAP title-holders.

The Blue Eaglets begin their UAAP title-retention buildup with a much retooled squad, after losing their senior core led by SJ Belangel to graduation and will have a new mentor in Reggie Varilla who replaced the resigned Joe Silva this week.

A rebuilding La Salle, mentored by Louie Gonzales will take on a fully loaded UP in an all-UAAP tiff at 4:30 p.m. in the seniors division, with Bo Perasol parading ex-Adamson guard JD Tungcab and former Perpetual Help big man Bright Akhuetie for the first time.

Apart from the Gilas Cadets, Cebu's Sacred Heart will be participating as guests in the juniors division.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada