All eyes will be on defending champion National University when the 7th Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship ‘Rain or Shine Cup’ tips off on December 15 at the SGS Gym in Quezon City.
The Bullpups will be bringing in heavy reinforcement for the annual meet of the top high school teams which is backed by Hapee Toothpaste, IronCon Builders, MEC Networks, Blackwater Sports, Poly Gloss, Freego Jeans and Che’ Lu Bar and Grill.
“Siguro NU ang team to beat kasi,” said Mapua assistant Ian Racela. “Especially with the addition of Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, Gerry Abadiano, kumpleto yan.”
The Bullpups are in Group A alongside NCAA semifinalists Jose Rizal University and Northern Luzon champs the University of Baguio.
San Beda, FEU and CESAFI and the University of Cebu are in Group B, UST, La Salle Greenhills, and FCAAF powerhouse Hope Christian High School are clustered in Group C as Mapua, Xavier and Chang Kai Shek are in Group D.
The top two teams in each group after a single round robin will qualify to the knockout quarterfinals phase.
Despite NU being the favored squad, the competition that is also being backed by Poly Gloss, Masumax Food Supplement, Cherrylume, SUMO GI Sheets and Choi Garden is also expected to be at its highest, especially with NCAA champions Mapua on the field and top-notch programs also competing.
High school stars such as Harvey Pagsanjam of Hope Christian High School and RJ Abarrientos of FEU are also expected to suit up
“Lahat naman ng teams pare-parehas, malalakas lahat,” said Hope head coach Stevenson Tiu.
JRU head coach Vic Lazaro echoed the same sentiments.
“Halos pare-parehas naman. Yung teams from other leagues final four teams lahat,” said Lazaro.
“Magkakadikit lang talaga yung laban. Siguro yung preparedness lang. Sa preparation magkakatalo.”