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PCCL rages on with new format

By being the NCAA champ, San Beda will go straight to the PCCL Final Four. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--A brand new format will highlight this year's Philippine Collegiate Champions League tournament.

The said bracket was revealed during a press launch on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Unlike the previous editions, where the non-UAAP, NCAA, and CESAFI teams get an early collision against the respective champions of the three aforementioned leagues, the said squads may now have to wait until the national final to get their chance against the said powerhouses.

San Beda, the reigning NCAA champ, and the eventual UAAP titlist will make one group, while the rest of the field will be part of the other group.

The Red Lions and whoever among the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Adamson Soaring Falcons, and the UP Fighting Maroons will win the UAAP crown will go through a best-of three series right on the first week of the new year for a spot in the national final set for the third week of January.

On the other hand, the race for the other final seat is currently ongoing with some teams already booking seats to the regionals.

Don Honorio Ventura Technical State University booked a spot in the Luzon regionals by ruling the North Luzon qualifiers, while Letran edged Perpetual Help, 83-77, in the National Capital Region qualifiers final earlier Tuesday at the Lyceum Gym in Manila to join DHVTSU.

Both DHVTSU and Letran are awaiting the champion of the South Luzon qualifiers, which will be finished by Wednesday, in the Luzon regionals, which will take place on Thursday at the Jesse Robredo Coliseum in Naga, Camarines Sur.

Meanwhile, Colegio De Sta. Ana De Victorias took home the Visayas qualifiers to join reigning CESAFI champ University of Visayas in the Visayas-Mindanao regionals.

The Mindanao qualifiers will commence on Saturday with the winner joining CSAV and UV in the regionals next week at the Arcadia Lifestyle Center in Davao City next week.

The winner of the Luzon regionals will face off with the winner of the VisMin regionals in a best-of-three series right after the latter for the first seat in the national final.

The winner of the inter-regional finals will then face off with the winner of the champion-versus-champion battle between the UAAP and NCAA victors in a one-game showdown for all the marbles.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno