San Beda, Letran find common ground in trying to sink LPU

San Beda, Letran find common ground in trying to sink LPU
COMMON ENEMY. For two hours, archrivals San Beda and Letran got together to take down an LPU side which had defeated both of them.

In a rare occurrence, Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s JP Calvo, Rey Nambatac, and Bong Quinto were coached by San Beda College’s Boyet Fernandez and teammates with Red Lions Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and Davon Potts.

Yes, archrivals Letran and San Beda wore the same uniforms in the fourth-annual NCAA All-Star Game last Friday.

And on that day, the decades-long rivalry was put aside for one goal: to defeat the other side led into battle by undefeated Lyceum of the Philippines University.

Asked about the unprecedented team-up, Mocon answered, “Nawala talaga yung rivalry e. Talagang nagtulungan kami to get the win against CJ Perez kasi talagang malakas sila.”

Perez and the Pirates tamed Mocon and the Red Lions, 96-91, and then downed the Knights, 75-68, in the recently-concluded first round of the tournament.

That’s why the archrivals were so determined even though they were also flanked by College of St. Benilde, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and University of Perpetual Help while LPU was joined by Arellano University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Jose Rizal University, and Mapua University.

In the end, it was mission accomplished for the San Beda-Letran team-up for Team Saints as they got they better of LPU-led Team Heroes, 84-80.

While much of the win had to do with the big game from All-Star MVP Prince Eze of the Altas, it was also Red Lions Bolick and Mocon as well as Knights Nambatac and Quinto who closed out the contest.

And as it turns out, the archrivals actually play well together. “Sa tagal ba naman ng scouting namin sa kanila (Letran), alam na alam na namin yung mga galaw nila. Kaya rin nag-gel naman kami agad,” Mocon shared.

Nambatac could only agree. “Kami ni Bolick at Mocon, high school pa lang, magkakakilala na e so alam na namin ang laro ng isa’t-isa. Kanina, nag-eenjoy lang talaga kami as teammates,” he said.

Of course, the San Beda-Letran team-up was only temporary, but it was nonetheless a great experience for all those involved. “Nakakatuwa na archrival nga, pero magkakampi kami sa All-Star. Sa loob ng court lang naman kami rivals e, outside, we’re friends,” Nambatac said.

He then continued, “Sila coach Boyet, lahat sila, napaka-friendly and approachable.”

And getting to be teammates with them, King Lion Bolick said he has proven that the Knights are indeed worthy to be their archrivals. “Of course, kilala ko naman sila na mabait talaga sila. Pag kalaban lang, talagang laban,” he shared.

He then continued, “Ngayong magkakasama kami, dito ko nalaman na sobrang tatalino nila kasi nakakapag-adjust sila agad. Sobrang tuwa ko na nakalaro ko yung pinakamagagaling na player.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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