How are your favorite NCAA teams spending their summer?
Photo via Instagram: @soberano.ac
With NCAA Season 93 just around the corner, aren’t you curious how your favorite teams are doing? From summer league success, to intensive training sessions, to the well-deserved beach trips, here’s what the different NCAA teams are up to this in the off-season.
San Beda Red Lions go abroad
Fresh off a Cignal-San Beda championship in the PBA D-League, the NCAA’s defending champs jetted off to Las Vegas for their annual pre-season training. Reigning three-point king AC Soberano, clutch power forward Javee Mocon, and last season’s co-captain Radge Tongco have all posted photos of their trip on Instagram.
(Photo from Instagramfirstname.lastname@example.org)
(Photo from Instagram/@javeemocon)
Cameroonian center Donald Tankoua, who suffered a mid-season ACL injury last year, can be seen in their Las Vegas photos. Alongside him are fellow Cameroonian and last year’s Finals MVP Arnaud Noah and Eugene Toba, their 6’9” Nigerian reinforcement in last year’s Slam Dunk Competition.
(Photo from Instagram/@salado15)
The Mindanao boys go swimming
Despite being rivals on the court, NCAA players from Mindanao are often each other’s closest friends outside of it. The Arellano University Chiefs’ Kent Salado posted a waterpark selfie with the Perpetual Altas’ Gab Dagangon and NCAA alum-slash-current Gilas rookie Jio Jalalon.
Meanwhile, Letran Knights’ powerhouse Rey Nambatac commented: “Ako na lang kulang!”
Letran's championship team reunites
Speaking of the Letran Knights, Nambatac posted a photo at the reunion of their 2015 championship team! Apart from graduates Kevin Racal and McJour Luib, the some of the Aldin Ayo-era coaching staff were present as well.
(Fun fact: If you follow Luib on Instagram, you’ll see he recently posted a story of himself and Ayo watching a replay of their championship game.)
Mapua regroups under the radar
In the wake of the departure of back-to-back MVP Allwell Oraeme and Darrell Menina, the Mapua Cardinals have kept a relatively low profile on social media.
“We’ve moved on from the Allwell issue. We have to,” says co-captain Hesed Gabo. The Intramuros-based squad is back to business with new conditioning coach JB Deang.
“For the past two years, we were built around a tower,” Gabo admits. Losing the league’s best center will inevitable change the Cardinals’ dynamic. “[Now] we spend more time on defense, running the system, and just running.”
San Sebastian gets ready to host Season 93
Last season, the rebuilding San Sebastian Golden Stags struggled through the first round, then surprised the league with a series of upsets against all Final Four teams in the second round.
Though it wasn’t enough for the Stags to make the Final Four, it was definitely enough to get fans hyped for what the young team can do with a bit more experience. As Season 93’s host school, the Golden Stags are looking forward to treating their students to an even better season.
TY Tang calling the shots for St. Benilde, with help from Charles Tiu. Ali Peek also part of their coaching staff. pic.twitter.com/6lNj7cx2Ih— Camille B. Naredo (@camillenaredo) May 3, 2017
Are you ready for the comebacks?
The CSB Blazers swallowed a bitter pill last year with just one win all season, but surprised many after defeating the Mapua Cardinals, 64-49, in the FilOil Flying V Premier Tournament. New head coach TY Tang promises a defense-first approach, and is joined by a coaching staff that includes Charles Tiu and Ali Peek.
Meanwhile, the JRU Heavy Bombers and LPU Pirates delivered upsets in their first games of the tournament, against the DLSU Green Archers and Ateneo Blue Eagles respectively.
Though JRU coach Vergel Meneses downplayed their victory and LPU coach Topex Robinson sees it more as a learning experience for their rebuilding team, it certainly points to an interesting NCAA season to come.