NCAA champ San Beda set to see action in Dubai Invitational

NCAA champ San Beda set to see action in Dubai Invitational
San Beda will see action in an international tournament even as most of its NCAA rivals go will at it in the PBA D-League

San Beda College is one of only three teams in the NCAA which will not be seeing action in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the Red Lions will be getting left behind in terms of preparations.

The defending champions of the NCAA will the Philippines’ representatives in the 29th Dubai International Basketball Tournament from January 19 to 26.

For them, carrying the flag is nothing but an honor. “We got this rare invitation to join this prestigious tournament and represent the country against top teams in West Asia. It’s a great opportunity to learn from the top competition and a great honor to play in front of our fellow Filipinos in Dubai,” team manager Jude Roque said.

Fronting the fight for San Beda will be Gilas Pilipinas 2023 prospects Robert Bolick, Kemark Carino, and Javee Mocon. “Our players will surely gain (a lot) from this experience. We expect them to come back home as a better team,” Roque said.

Flanking them will be Finals MVPs Donald Tankoua and Arnaud Noah, Franz Abuda, Ben Adamos, JB Bahio, Jeramer Cabanag, Clint Doliguez, Calvin Oftana, Jomari Presbitero, AC Soberano, Eugene Toba, and Radge Tongco.

The Red Lions will be mentored by multi-titled mentor Boyet Fernandez and assistant Gino Manuel along with statistician Benjie Berro, physical therapist Mike Sunga, and liaison officer Joey de Jesus.

Winners of 10 of the last 12 NCAA tournaments, they will now try their luck against the likes of United Arab Emirates national team; Lebanese clubs Al-Hikma, Al-Riyadi, and Homentmen; Egyptian clubs Al Ahly and Zamalek; Libyan club Al-Nasr; Moroccan club AS Sale; and Tunisian club ES Rades.

A year ago, the Philippines was represented by Mighty Sports which registered a 1-5 record in the invitational tournament.

San Beda, along with Arellano University and Mapua University, opted not to join the PBA D-League.

Conversely, all of Colegio de San Juan de Letran (Wangs Basketball), College of St. Benilde (Go for Gold), Emilio Aguinaldo College (Batangas), Jose Rizal University, Lyceum of the Philippines University (Zark’s Burgers), San Sebastian College-Recoletos (Che’Lu Bar and Grill), and University of Perpetual Help will be seeing action in the tournament commencing on January 18.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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