This early, newly-minted champion San Beda looks poised to make another title romp in next year’s NCAA seniors basketball tournament.
With skipper Dan Sara the only graduating player from their championship team that clinched the Season 92 crown, the Red Lions appear deadlier than ever for their title-retention bid behind a potent crew that’s expected to be boosted by solid recruits.
“It’s a very intact line-up. We’re gonna come in solid,” assured San Beda coach Jamike Jarin, who’ll have another tour of duty next year with the likes of vital cogs Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, Davon Potts, Benedict Adamos, AC Soberano, co-skipper Radge Tongco and Finals MVP Arnaud Noah.
Cameroon import Donald Tankoua is expected to have fully recovered from a season-ending anterior crucial ligament injury he suffered this year, giving the Red Lions a more intimidating presence inside.
The possible entry of Team B standouts like former Ateneo hopefuls Kemark Carino and Clint Doliguez, former Batang Gilas stalwart Norris Decapia, former Red Cub Franz Abuda should give San Beda more depth in nearly all positions.
Another thing “good problem” for Jarin is how he’ll accommodate 6-foot-9 Nigerian import Eugene Toba since the NCAA allows only two foreign student-athletes per team every season.
Jarin, however, should have a clearer view of the team’s composition once they return to the drawing board.
“We’re gonna plan it, and we’re gonna make another (title) run for Season 93,” he assured.
For the meantime, Jarin is giving the Red Lions a chance to soak it all in after redeeming themselves from a painful loss last year and bagging the school’s ninth crown in the last 11 years—and their 20th overall, the most in league history.
“It was a very long and tough season so we’re really, really tired and all of us deserves a break,” he said. – Jerome Lagunzad
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