Ateneo Blue Eagles defend WUBS title minus Forthsky Padrigao

Ateneo Blue Eagles. –World University Basketball Series Photo

Ateneo Blue Eagles. –World University Basketball Series Photo

Ateneo leaves later this week to not only defend its World University Basketball Series title against a souped-up field, but to also get better in its quest to win the UAAP title for the second straight year.

The four-day tournament set at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo will be a good gauge for the Blue Eagles, who earlier in the week lost heady point guard Forthsky Padrigao, as they prime up for the tournament that matters most to them.

Champion schools from Australia, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, a US NCAA Division 1 team and two from the host country make up the lean roster that will play knockout games right from tip-off on Aug. 10.

Ateneo swept this tournament last year, but will come to Japan this time without Padrigao, who bid the team adieu with an emotional social media post earlier in the week.

Joseph Obasa, a one-and-done center groomed to replace Ange Kouame, will play in the tournament for the second straight year.

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