THE defending men’s basketball champions San Beda Red Lions are ready to go make another run at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title when Season 94 unfurls this weekend.
Champions in the last two years, and seven in the last eight years, the Red Lions said they are not about done and can only be expected to battle all comers.
San Beda is coming back with practically an intact lineup led by Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon.
Also part of the team are Clint Doliguez, Franz Abuda, AC Soberano, Jomari Presbitero and rookie Evan Nelle.
Looking to give further aid to the defending champions’ push are foreign players Donald Tankoua and Toba Eugene, a pair of big men who would man the paint for the Mendiola-based squad.
Tankoua was the finals most valuable player last year while Eugene impressed in the preseason so much so that he supplanted Arnaud Noah, the 2016 finals MVP, for the last foreign player spot in the team.
While they are confident of where they are coming from heading into the brand-new NCAA season, San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez said they still have to put in the work and perform accordingly on the court amid what they expect to be a tough field.
“Yes, we have the experience and we’re almost intact. But I still think it will be tough this season because teams have beefed up,” said Mr. Fernandez at the press conference for NCAA Season 94 early this week at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Nonetheless, we are ready,” he added.
San Beda opens its campaign against Season 94 hosts Perpetual Help Altas, now handled by former Lions coach Frankie Lim, in the opening game on Saturday, July 7, at 2 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Following suit at 4 p.m. is the Lyceum Pirates against San Sebastian Stags.
Opening ceremonies have been set at 12 noon.
All NCAA Season 94 games will be shown live on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo