San Beda confident of 5th straight NCAA title
MANILA, Philippines - San Beda College mentor Boyet Fernandez is confident of the Red Lions’ chances in the coming National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball wars after a second-place finish in the country’s premier collegiate preseason tournament.
San Beda blew a 12-point third-quarter lead in dropping a 71-66 loss to De La Salle University in the winner-take-all finals of the recently-concluded Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup but Fernandez will be parading the same roster that won for the Red Lions a fourth straight NCAA crown last year.
"So far, so good. The team is in good shape entering the NCAA season," said Fernandez, who will only miss Rome dela Rosa after the former skipper used up his eligibility years in the league.
Fernandez and his Red Lions will be gunning for a fifth straight title and eighth in the last 10 seasons. And the former mentor in the Philippine Basketball Association said they will again rely on their defense in order to keep the crown in Mendiola.
"San Beda has always been a team that gets everything done with defense. Our offense is our defense," added Fernandez, who will rely heavily on Ola Adeogun as the Nigerian big man had been the Red Lions’ reliable inside presence.
Baser Amer, Kyle Pascual, Arhtur Dela Cruz and Ryusei Koga will also be vital cogs in the San Beda’s five-peat bid to join the Red Cubs (2009 to 2013), Mapua Red Robins (1968 to 1972) and the San Sebastian Golden Stags (1993 to 1997).
Fernandez said the only missing piece on his San Beda roster is a player who will step up to replace dela Rosa’s absence. "We need a player to fill the void left by Rome (dela Rosa) and I think Anthony [Semerad] will be that guy." said Fernandez.
The 90th NCAA opens on June 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City with Jose Rizal University as this year’s host. - Rappler.com