A SUPER team is coming. After weeks of speculation, PBA D-League expansion team Flying V Thunder finally unveiled its initial roster for the coming 2017 Foundation Cup in the process raising a lot of eyebrows.
To be handled by multi-titled coach Eric Altamirano, the Thunder will be led by top rookie draft pick Jeron Teng, who is transferring after playing the Aspirants Cup with the team that selected him AMA Online Education. “I have worked with Coach Eric in high school at Xavier School when I made the junior national team and I am excited to work with him again,” said Teng who will be joined by familiar faces from his alma mater De La Salle University.
Joining Teng are former Green Archers Thomas Torres, Mark Jovet Mendoza, Gabriel Banal, Jarelan Tampus and Joshua Webb plus College of Saint Benilde Blazers JR Ongteco and Luis Sinco. Completing the roster are Eric Salamat from DLSU’s perennial archrival Ateneo de Manila University, Mike Gamboa from the University of the Philippines, Jan Julius Colina of Adamson University and Aris Dionisio of Saint Clare College of Caloocan.
“I am now very bullish about this team,” said Flying V Chairman Ramon F. Villavicencio. “We had modest goals when we approved the team’s formation but it all changed after seeing the line-up.
Two more slots are still up for grabs and Coach Altamirano and his assistants Joey Guanio and Victor Ycasiano and team manager Joey Guillermo are still evaluating several players before the deadline of submission of entries. Management is also waiting for a couple of players who are ironing out their release from their current contracts with other teams.
Salamat, who along with Banal and Webb are the team’s ex-pros, relishes the chance to be part of the Thunder. “I feel like I’m in college again,” he said.
One big plus is that the Thunder is composed of players who have experienced winning championships in any level. Most recent examples are Teng and Torres who led DLSU to the 79th UAAP title and Dionisio who powered Saint Clare to the 16th NAASCU championship and in the process bagging Most Valuable Player honors in academic year 2016-2017.
Definitely, the Flying V Thunder is a team built to win a championship. The Foundation Cup will begin action on May 25, 2017.