Rebuilding San Beda still coaches' team to beat in NCAA Season 95
MANILA, Philippines – Despite losing their superstar duo of Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon, the reigning three-time NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions are still the team to beat, according to coaches in the upcoming Season 95.
A number of coaches attending the Season 95 press conference at the Mall of Asia Arena also mentioned runners-up Lyceum Pirates and Final Four mainstays Letran Knights, while some said that the field is more balanced this time around.
"I think I can't single out any team right now because based on the pre-season games, everyone has really been stepping up," said coach Topex Robinson, who led the Lyceum Pirates to two straight finals appearances in Seasons 93 and 94.
"These teams have also had a lot of exposure in the PBA D-League. For sure it's going to be an exciting season for us."
Robinson will head to the new season without top star CJ Perez, who is now tearing it up with the Columbian Dyip in the PBA.
However, the Pirates still have bruising big man Mike Nzeusseu along with the crafty Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee.
Sans Bolick and Mocon, multi-titled head coach Boyet Fernandez will now lean on the explosive drives of James Canlas and the steady playmaking of Evan Nelle.
The Red Lions' young squad, though, will still have the veteran experience of former Finals MVPs Donald Tankoua and Arnaud Noah in the final season where foreign-student athletes are allowed to play.
San Beda will start its title defense at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, July 7, 4 pm, in a traditional match against host school Arellano University.
Powerhouses Letran and Lyceum will serve as an exciting curtain-raiser at 2 pm after the opening ceremonies.
It will be Arellano's first foray into hosting the Grand Old League with a theme of "Kaisa sa Pagkakaiba" (Unity in Diversity) for Season 95. – Rappler.com