Adeogun key to SBC ‘five-peat’
MANILA, Philippines — For somone who gets plenty of attention because of his size, San Beda’s Nigerian center Ola Adeogun would rather stay out of the limelight.
And as much as Adeogun stressed that he’s just a small part of the Red Lions’ championship puzzle in the NCAA basketball tournament this season, all signs point to the 6-foot-8 Nigerian delivering in a dominant way when the season opens June 28 at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lions, led by Adeogun, face host Jose Rizal U Bombers in the 1 p.m. game after the opening ceremony. San Sebastian and Letran clash at 3 p.m.
Top big man
With last year’s Most Valuable Player Raymond Almazan already in the PBA, Adeogun has emerged as the league’s top big man much like former San Beda stars Sam Ekwe and Sudan Daniel before him.
And with the reputation comes the expectation of personal glory while leading San Beda to a fifth straight championship.
But Adeogun said playing as one cohesive unit, not individual talent, will propel the Lions to glory.
“For me, for us to be strong is to play together as a team,” said Adeogun, on his third season with San Beda. “Individually we’re still there, but all the other teams are improving.”
The Lions lost former captain Rome dela Rosa to graduation, while Francis Abarcar and Richie Villaruz were dropped due to academic deficiencies. Former San Beda Cubs Javee Mocon and Ranbill Tongco now boost the roster of coach Boyet Fernandez along with comebacking Michael Sorella.
The Lions prepared for the season by training in Lithuania, where Fernandez said they got a better grasp of “team concepts.” They also reached the finals of the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup, losing to reigning UAAP champion La Salle in the title game.
“We have some new guys who didn’t even come to Lithuania with us,” said Adeogun. “There’s going to be a period of adjustment.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.