NCAA coaches’ consensus: Arellano is team to beat
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 22, 2016 04:51 PM
UNANIMOUS. Jerry Codinera and Arellano have a big target on their backs with the entire league calling them contenders.
While this would no longer come as a surprise, it still needs to be said that Arellano University is the favorite in the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The league’s coaches themselves made it official when all of them – nine of the 10, excluding Chiefs mentor Jerry Codinera, of course – named Arellano as the team-to-beat when asked by reporters.
Coaches Gabby Velasco of College of St. Benilde, Ariel Sison of Emilio Aguinaldo College, Atoy Co of Mapua Institute of Technology, Jamike Jarin of San Beda College, Egay Macaraya of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Jimwell Gican of University of Perpetual Help,
Jeff Napa of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, as well as assistant coaches George Ella of Jose Rizal University and Jeff Perlas of Lyceum of the Philippines University all mentioned the Chiefs as contenders in their mind.
Those coaches are basing their claims in the fact that, behind Jiovani Jalalon, Arellano reached the championship round in their first-ever go in the Filoil Flying V Preseason.
Jalalon, undoubtedly the top collegiate player in the country today, was alsos the reason why the Chiefs downed the Red Lions in Filoil. San Beda, champions in eight of the last 10 years, was second to be mentioned most by coaches to be contenders.
For his part, however, Codinera admitted that it was a new feeling to be considered favorites instead of underdogs. Talking about taking on more pressure because of a successful preseason, he expressed, “Mahirap manalo kung nananalo ka e.”
The oldest collegiate league in the country commences with its 92nd Season on Saturday at the MOA Arena. A rivalry game between defending champion Letran and reigning runner-up San Beda kicks things off at 2:00 PM while a battle between Mapua and JRU follow suit at 4:00 PM.
The opening ceremony happens beforehand at 12:00 PM. All of it will be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 and streamed LIVE on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/ncaa.
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