The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is the premier collegiate athletic league in the country. UAAP Basketball has been dominated by the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles. The 4-peat seeking Blue Eagles recruited 2 Cebuanos for the 2011 UAAP cage wars: Gregory Slaughter and Mark Jayven Tallo.
Two years ago, Slaughter was the CESAFI Seniors MVP playing for the University of the Visayas Green Lancers while Tallo was the Juniors MVP donning the Cebu Institute Technology (CIT) Wildkittens uniform. Both did not play last season since both transferred schools. Slaughter has to sit out one season after transferring to Ateneo while Tallo moved to Cebu Eastern Colleges after differences with the CIT High School Coach. Slaughter was also busy with the national quintet Smart Gilas and he even helped the Gilas cause in tough tournaments like the Asian Games and the recent PBA conference. With the entry of the 2, Ateneo would have been loaded with two of the most promising Cebuano ballers in the country.
Ateneo is a very strong team and many young students would aspire to join its celebrated Team A. Winning the last 3 UAAP hoops title is a testament of the quality of players and management that the school has. The team is supported by MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan) and ably coached by PBA legend Norman Black.
A few days ago, Greg Slaughter scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Ateneo to its first Filoil Flying V preseason crown by beating NCAA Champs San Beda Red Lions. Slaughter is on its way to stardom and he will likely dominate the lane in the upcoming UAAP wars. Cebuanos remember him fondly of his match-ups with University of Cebu‘s Junmar Fajardo. Cebu will be so proud when Slaughter starts to have Shaq-like (circa 2000) performances in the Araneta Coliseum. He will probably become one of the cornerstones of the national team in the years to come and we will definitely see him in the PBA in the near future.
As for Tallo, newspapers reported his apparent departure from the Eagles camp. He packed his bags and went home to Cebu. He left citing loss of confidence caused by the lack of playing time. He has been riding the bench of Ateneo for the whole pre-season and he wanted to show the people what he can do in the court. Other UAAP teams has expressed interest for his talents but the news article noted that he was keen on skipping this season.
caloycomment: First, it is great to see that Greg Slaughter has been leading the Eagles in the pre-season. Being a part of the Smart Gilas it is expected that he dominate the shaded lane. The playing time at Ateneo will help him develop confidence and improve his performance during clutch situations. A UAAP Championship will add luster to his outstanding basketball resume.
For Mark Jayven Tallo, another year of missing competitive basketball will not be helpful to him. It is rare for someone to be recruited and immediately elevated to Ateneo Team A. They are so many Ateneo Junior Eaglets who wished to take his slot on the team. As a freshman though it was expected that he has to learn the system and sit out many games. The Blue Eagles are loaded especially with guards. It does not help his cause also that Ateneo just elevated another super freshman guard and national juniors team mainstay Keifer Ravena. I just wish him well in his plans but he should know that he could help a lot of teams out there and a scholarship that will lead to a degree is also very important.