University of Perpetual Help System Dalta is determined to end its long title drought when the seniors basketball tournament of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 unwraps this Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Altas coach Michael “Myk” Saguiguit said they will go all out to win their first title, thanks to the newfound confidence of the players and the all-out support of the school, alumni and private sponsors.
In fact, no less than reigning Philippine Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson spearheaded their drive for support as he taped his private sponsors — World Balance and YM Cargo — to help the Altas in their preparation for the upcoming season.
The Altas will open their campaign against Emilio Aguinaldo College on 27 September at the Filoil EcoOil Arena in San Juan.
“One thing for sure is that the team will be very competitive this Season 99. We have seasoned players who have already played in the NCAA. Winning our first game will be a huge morale booster to the team,” Saguiguit said.
After finishing seventh with a 7-11 win-loss record in the previous season, the Altas bid goodbye to Kim Aurin, Lean Martel, Jeff Egan and Steven Flores.
They, however, will parade four new players in former Junior Altas Angelo Gelsano, Justin Thompson and Bryle Mascariñas as well as Joshua Ramirez from Adamson University.
Jielo Razon will serve as team captain while Jasper Cuevas, Mark Denver Omega, Arthur Roque II, Cyrus Nitura, Carlo Ferreras, Joey Barcuma, John Cedric Abis and JP Boral will carry the cudgels.
The Altas will also have Nathaniel Sevilla, Jerico Nuñez, Christian Pagaran, Shawn Orgo and Richard Movida in the backcourt.
“We were running a system in Seasons 97 and 98, we only used it a bit. It was a little short, but for now we will stick with the system, so one of the players will come out to score and play good defense, even in the 2nd and 3rd stringers,” Saguiguit, who prepared his wards by competing Philippine Basketball Association D-League, FilOil EcoOil Preseason tourney, Asia Basket Tournament and various tune-up tournaments.