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Lions eye 3rd straight NCAA title

By Jerome Lagunzad

Seeking a third straight crown and 11th overall in the last 13 years, San Beda tactician Boyet Fernandez believes the Red Lions still have enough reasons to stay hungry and motivated going to the NCAA 4 seniors basketball tournament that gets going on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“What I’ve been telling my guys is plain and simple: every year is a different year and we all know that the San Beda community is always looking for a championship. Everyone in our school wants to win a championship again,” he said.
And who would do not want to?

Since the school management threw its all-out support in 2006, the Red Lions immediately turned into one of the country’s successful basketball programs, winning one title after another highlighted by a five-peat romp in the NCAA from 2010 to 2014, the last two of those under Fernandez.

“There is clearly no time for us to rest,” he added. “We should always be hungry because everybody in the community is expecting us to win. It’s already hard to win back-to-back titles. What more to win it three straight times? That should be enough for each and everyone of us to be motivated.”

While scoring wingman Davon Potts moved up to the pro ranks with Alaska and reliable backup center Ben Adamos transferred to Perpetual Help, San Beda remains practically intact with the return of top guard Robert Bolick, do-it-all forward Javee Mocon and Cameroon center Donald Tankoua for another tour of duty.

Of course, the Red Lions will continue to enjoy depth on every position, with former Red Cubs star guard Evan Nelle and big man Damie Cuntapay out to make an immediate impact along with key holdovers like AC Soberano, Radge Tongco, Clint Doliguez, Calvin Oftana and 2016 Finals MVP Arnaud Noah.