Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Eagles' Share: Best Recruiting Class Ever?

The Philippine Star dishes on the state of Ateneo basketball, and guess what? It's royal blue, as in, four-peat royal blue.

Ateneo could well be on its way to a rare UAAP four-peat as the Eagles landed four of the brightest prospects this year.

Smart Gilas’s Greg Slaughter, Ateneo high school standout Kiefer Ravena, Cebuano star Mark Jayven Tallo and former RP Youth mainstay Gwyne Capacio will don the Eagles’ jerseys in the coming UAAP season as the Loyola-based squad tries to annex the league’s first four-peat since the University of Santo Tomas Tigers did the feat in the 90s.

The seven-foot Slaughter, who steered University of Visayas to four Cebu collegiate league crowns from 2006 before being tapped for the national team, will provide muscle underneath following the departure of now pros Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Noy Baclao.

Ravena, who powered the Eaglets to three UAAP juniors crowns, Tallo, the Jr. NBA MVP and spearhead of Cebu Institute of Technology in the Cebu leagues, and Capacio, a former La Salle high school stalwart, are expected to more than fill up the slack left by skipper Eric Salamat, who has graduated.

“We’ve got talented recruits for the coming season,” said Ateneo coach Norman Black in yesterday’s Scoop sa Kamayan Padre Faura. “We’ve got Greg Slaughter who will man the middle for us the way Rabeh (Al-Hussaini) and Noy Baclao did during their time.

“We also have guys like Kiefer Ravena, who everybody knows how talented he is, Mark Tallo and Gwyne Capacio to help fill in the void left by Eric Salamat,” he added.

Aside from the Fantastic Four though, who were already linked to Ateneo as early as July of last year, the article confirms that two Blue Eaglets, in addition to Ravena, will be staying home as well:

Aside from these blue-chip recruits, Ateneo also took in Von Pessumal and Ael Banal from its high school squad while Oping Sumalinog, who missed last season due to a knee injury, is expected to be back this year.

If the story is to be believed, then we can probably squelch those rumors of Pessumal headed to San Beda, or of Banal going to DLSU or NU. 

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