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Tough challenges await Blue Eagles

The Ateneo Blue Eagles are ready to invade Japan.

Defending the title will not be easy for Ateneo de Manila University when it sees action in the World University Basketball Series in Japan from 11 to 13 August.

Unlike last year when the team with the best record emerged victorious, it’s going to be a knockout format, prompting the reigning University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion to go hard if they want to defend their title.

Right now, the Blue Eagles are preparing for the prestigious tourney by playing a friendly match against a selection team from the All-Japan University Basketball Federation at the Yoyogi Second Gymnasium in Tokyo.

In the WUBS, Ateneo will be stacked against National Chengchi University of Chinese Taipei, Korea University of South Korea, University of Sydney of Australia, Tokai University of Japan, Hakuoh University and Perbaas Institute of Indonesia, and Radford University of the United States.

The Blue Eagles will be tipping things off when they face University of Sydney on 11 August. If successful, they will advance to the next round on 12 August before playing in the championship match on 13 August.

A loss, however, will relegate Ateneo to the classification phase where they will vie for the fifth place at best.

University of Sydney, however, will not be an easy foe as it is coming in champion of the 2022 University Basketball League.

New foreign recruit Joseph Obasa of Nigeria and Gilas Pilipinas pool member Mason Amos are expected to lead Ateneo to the title with veterans Chris Koon and Paul Garcia providing support in the absence of veteran playmaker Forthsky Padrigao.

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