Through the years, the preseason of college basketball had teams using the tournaments as a tryout for the upcoming season. The Fr. Martin Cup was the most popular where schools would send the fringe players to see if they're good enough to make the team or not. You rarely see the blue chippers play in these games as they are either still in the PBL or coaches are not ready to show their cards yet. The venues are also empty with family and friends of players as the only spectators.
Last year, the Flying V/Fil Oil group, under the leadership of
Raffy Villavicencio started a preseason tournament that changed all that. Most of the teams (UAAP & NCAA teams) sent their "A" players and it payed dividends. Instead of tryouts, the coaches started to find out which players can play under pressure with the bands playing, crowds cheering and cameras focused on all the action. The finals last year was between San Beda and La Salle. Both teams ended up winning their respective leagues.
The chemistry of the team is just as important as the level of talent. These tournaments can now be used to gel earlier instead of using the first round the of the actual tournament. Only UE and PCU from the two leagues are not included. UE pulled out for another league organized by ABS-CBN (which has been cancelled) and PCU because of NCAA sanctions. This tournament is the start of the road to the Philippine Collegiate Championships in October/November. So mark you calendars as the tournament starts April 13. The big games will be on BTV and IBC13. All teams (7 UAAP, 7 NCAA) committed their "Team A" for this one.