Sports

Red Lions pursuit of lost crown will kick off from unfamiliar starting point


San Beda vs St Benilde within the NCAA Season 97 males’s basketball event. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

Seventeen years.

That’s how lengthy it has been since San Beda final completed exterior of the highest two spots on the finish of the elimination spherical of the NCAA males’s basketball event. It’s been that lengthy for the reason that Red Lions haven’t had playoff safety of any kind in its journey to the championship.

Friday’s 59-56 defeat to defending champion Letran pushed San Beda right down to the No. 3 spot, however Lions coach Boyet Fernandez noticed adversity headed their approach a lot sooner than that.

“The players knew the risk after losing to Mapua [last Saturday],” Fernandez stated, referring to a 68-54 defeat that opened the door for the Cardinals to leapfrog to second place. “I already laid things out to them that the situation is going to be tough.”

But as they are saying concerning the sturdy ones when the going will get powerful: “I’m sure my boys will be ready,” Fernandez stated.

“I still believe we have a good chance.”

After all, this isn’t the primary time San Beda—which gained three straight titles earlier than Letran stopped it chilly within the final season earlier than the pandemic struck—might want to overcome obstacles to say an NCAA crown.

Lessons from earlier than

About 5 years in the past, the Red Lions watched Lyceum sweep its solution to a Finals berth, plunging everybody else right into a stepladder playoff. Fernandez stated his group will attempt to carry the identical form of mentality that propelled them to the crown towards the Pirates.

“Just the same [mindset] back in 2017 when LPU (Lyceum of the Philippines University) swept it,” he stated.

The Red Lions had solely a day to lick their wounds after shedding to the Knights earlier than choosing themselves as much as put together for St. Benilde within the first stage of the play-in, Season 97’s newly launched bonus spherical.

“My players are eager for redemption. We all know CSB (College of St. Benilde) is a strong team, and we’ll prepare against them as we always do. It will be tough, but we are going to compete,” Fernandez stated.

The Lions defeated the Blazers, 67-63, final week.

“I’m certain my boys might be prepared for every little thing, particularly we’re going to play St. Benilde straight away this Sunday, so simply at some point off [for us],’’ Fernandez stated.

“At least my gamers realized that we’re group with the best way we performed [against the Knights] and hopefully we proceed to enhance on that,’’ he added.

Duel vs Mapua

The Lions fells to No. 3 with a 7-2 file behind the Knights (9-0) and Cardinals (7-2).

The winner of the San Beda-St. Benilde conflict advances to the semifinals towards Mapua. The loser drops to a different layer of the play-in, the place it faces the winner of the Perpetual-Arellano duel.

The younger Altas wound up at No. 5 regardless of having the identical file (4-5) with the Chiefs.

“Most of our gamers are coming off from highschool with only a few veterans, so it’s an achievement for Perpetual to succeed in this far,’’ stated Altas coach Myk Saguiguit. “We’re nonetheless within the technique of rebuilding and we are able to see that what we intend to perform is slowly occurring.’’ added Saguiguit.

Both play-in video games might be held at Filoil Flying V Arena, which has already accepted followers.

“It’s totally different while you play in entrance of a crowd. The gamers grow to be extremely motivated,’’ stated Arellano coach Cholo Martin.

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