Red Lions out to dominate anew
A preseason crown at the expense of UAAP champion La Salle close to two weeks ago and an almost intact roster have put the spotlight on the Red Lions ahead of tipoff this Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We like the pressure that comes from being defending champions,” said do-it-all guard Robert Bolick, who emerged as the Lions go-to-guy when they ruled the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup recently.
“We like it this way because it keeps us on our toes. I told my teammates to continue playing with an underdog mentality. If we think of ourselves as favorites [this season], we might lose our focus.”
San Beda, winner of 10 of the last 12 NCAA crowns, opens the season against host San Sebastian College.
San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez is returning to the Lions’ bench after leading them to a couple of titles, the last coming in 2014. He took over Jamike Jarin, now National U coach.
Jarin also replaced Fernandez three years ago when the latter accepted the NLEX coaching post in the PBA.
One of Fernandez’s tough decisions during the offseason was to pick Cameroonians Arnauld Noah and Donald Tankoua, leaving out the taller yet inexperienced Eugene Toba.
Lyceum, which hardly merited a second look since it joined the league in 2009, has been tipped as a strong contender this season along with San Sebastian, Jose Rizal U and Letran.
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