Ateneo De Manila University vowed to make the school and country proud when it competes in the 2018 William Jones Cup from July 14-22 at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
The Blue Eagles, reigning champions in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, were selected as the country representatives to the annual invitational tournament.
They will also be the first collegiate team to be fielded in the event by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
SBP paraded national teams for tune-ups for bigger Asian tourneys like the FIBA Asia Championship (now FIBA Asia Cup) and the Asian Games.
Bannered by Gilas Pilipinas cadets Matt Nieto, Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go, the Tab Baldwin-mentored Ateneo is up to the task and is using the tournament as final stage to its preparation for the upcoming UAAP Season 81.
“Coming into the Jones Cup, out target is to represent the university and the country well. Our goal is to play to the best of our abilities,” said Ravena, the UAAP Season 80 Finals Most Valuable Player.
Ateneo had a training camp in Greece last month, highlighted by a victory over the Greece national U-21 team.
The Blue Eagles also ruled the Filoil Flying V Pre-Season Cup with a perfect record two weeks ago.
The Blue Eagles take on 3D Global Sports of Canada, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lithuania, South Korea and two teams from host Chinese Taipei in a single-round robin format.
The team with the best record will be crowned the Jones Cup champion.
Last year, the Gilas cadet-reinforced Philippine squad finished fourth with a 6-3 record.