NCAA: San Beda to play with only 6 players vs Arellano on Sunday
MANILA, Philippines—Defending champion San Beda is facing one of the toughest challenges yet as early as the first game in the 88th NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
With the NCAA policy board finally doling out the sanctions for the infamous brawl between San Beda’s basketball team and San Sebastian’s women’s volleyball coach, Red Lions will have to make do with just six players this Sunday.
Facing an upstart Arellano squad at 2 p.m. in the men’s basketball opening weekend, San Beda will lean on a virtually all-newcomer line-up for that nonetheless important opening game victory.
Francis Johnson Abarcar, Antonio Bonsubre, John Mark Ludovice, Ritchie Jon Villaruz, Art de la Cruz, all of whom have never played in the seniors division, and sophomore Dave Moralde were the only ones who dodged the suspension.
The rest of the Red Lions’ holdovers like Rome de la Rosa, Jake Pascual and Carmelo Lim, among others, will be serving a one-game suspension.
“We have to make the necessary adjustments and try to make it as competitive as possible,” said head coach Ronnie Magsanoc in the NCAA press conference at Gateway Suites in Cubao Wednesday.
The Red Lions, hoping to extend their reign in the NCAA behind a new system, will have the services of Nigerian reinforcement Ola Adeogun sooner than expected.
NCAA President Fr. Tamerlane Lana O.P. of Letran announced also in the press conference that Adeogun’s suspension has been reduced to four games instead of six.
The earlier ban on Adeogun as a spectator in any NCAA sport was also lifted.
The appeal from San Sebastian, regarding the case of the Lady Stags’ head coach Roger Gorayeb, meanwhile, is still under review.
“The appeal was forwarded to us, we asked the mancom to review the appeal and review the facts before we make a proposal to the policy board,” said Lana.
Gorayeb, along with erstwhile San Beda head coach Frankie Lim, is serving a two-year ban in the NCAA.
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