By Kristel Satumbaga
Powerhouse San Beda and former mentor Frankie Lim will be on the opposite ends today when the Red Lions open their “three-peat” drive against season host Perpetual Help Altas in the 94th NCAA seniors basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Red Lions, back with an intact and formidable core made tougher by the addition of 6-foot-9 Nigerian center Toba Eugene, are considered as the favorites in their 2 p.m. encounter with the Altas, now handled by Lim, 58, who previously led San Beda to four NCAA crowns.
“Coach Frankie is an alumnus of San Beda and I’m sure the community appreciates what he has done before. There’s a lot of history between him and San Beda so it will be a tough one for us, emotionally and psychologically,” said Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez.
Emotions are also expected to run high in the main match at 4 p.m., with Lyceum coach Topex Robinson and his Pirates rekindling their growing rivalry with San Sebastian counterpart Egay Macaraya and the Golden Stags.
The Pirates, carrying the colors of Zark’s Burgers, outdueled the Golden Stags, supported by Che’Lu Bar and Grill, in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup finals last May.
Stoking the fire was the stunning exit of reliable guard Renzo Navarro and vastly-improving wingman Jayson David from the Golden Stags’ camp to join the Pirates’ ship, both citing different reasons.