MANILA, Philippines ? Reigning champ San Beda Red Lions overpowered the Mapua Cardinals, 85-52, and opened its title defense with stern warning to nine other schools vying for the NCAA season 85 basketball championships.
Riego Gamalinda and Sudan Daniel scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Red Lions in season opener before jampacked Araneta Coliseum.
?I felt a lot of pressure. I expect the next games to be more challenging. I need to step up my rebounding,? said Daniel, the six-foot-eight American rookie who is expected to replace last year?s MVP Sam Ekwe.
Mark Acosta and Paul Cinco, meanwhile, led the Cardinals with 10 points each.
US ambassador Kristie Kenney graced the opening ceremonies and did the ceremonial toss.
?You have a great responsibility to show sportsmanship and courage in defeat,? she said in her speech.
Cheering squads from the seven regular member schools as well as guest schools Angeles University Foundation, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano University performed in the opening program.