WATCH out for newcomer Victoria Sports-Manuel Luis Quezon University in the coming PBA D-League on Jan. 19 at the Ynares Sports Center.
To be handled by veteran coach Jinino Manansala, Victoria Sports-MLQU looks to compete with a line-up beefed up by the addition of former San Beda College standout Russel Koga, Fil-foreigners Zachary Nicholls, Harold James Herndon and John Ragasa and Aris Dionisio of NAASCU champion St. Clare College-Caloocan .
Koga, a 5-9 guard who made his name as a member of Red Lions champion teams in 2012 to 2014, is expected to bring his vast experience to Victoria Sports-MLQU.
“Malaki ang tiwala ko kay Russel. I expect him to bring his championship experience with San Beda and serve as the leader of our young players,” Manansala told People’s Tonight.
“He (Koga) is really a good addition to our team,”added Manansala, son of PBA legend Jimmy Manansala.
Nicholls, a 6-2 forward from Vancouver, Canada, was a vital cog in Arellano University’s successful campaign in last year’s NCAA where it finished runner-up to San Beda.
Herndorn , a 6-2 forward from Canada while Ragasa, a 5-9 guard from United Kingdom, will also bring leadership to the young team.
They will be joined by Dionisio, a 6-4 forward who led the Saints to the NAASCU title. He was also named as NAASCU Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Victoria Sports-MLQU is one of the school-based teams seeing action in the league.
The team is fully supported by New San Jose Builders of businessman-sportsman Jerry Acuzar.
Assisting Manansala on the bench are his brother J.R. Manansala and Jeric Baylen with Dr. Jay Adalem as consultant and Jomar Acuzar as the team manager.
Victoria Sports also recently signed up 6-0 Mike Ayonayon of NAASCU member Philippine Christian University.
Ayonayon, a high-scoring guard, will provide the offensive muscle to the team looking to make an impression on its first year in the league.
Ayonayon and Von Tambeling emerged as the highest scoring duo for the PCU Dolphins in the last year’s NAASCU tournament.
Actually, Ayonayon was drafted by his PCU coach Ato Tolentino for Wang’s Ballclub in the fourth round but eventually landed with Victoria Sports-MLQU.
Another player from University of Batangas -- 6-5 Cedric Mag-Isa -- will be tasked to man the middle for Victoria Sports-MLQU.