by Waylon Galvez
Games Today (The Arena, San Juan)
2 p.m. – EAC vs San Beda (Jrs)
4 p.m. – EAC vs San Beda (Srs)
Defending three-time champion San Beda University takes on Emilio Aguinaldo College as the NCAA holds its first “On-Tour” game today at the EAC Gym in Paco, Manila.
Since they will be playing before their supporters, the Generals hope to end a 20-game losing streak to the Lions that started when it joined the league 10 years ago.
The match between the two schools is set at 4 p.m., right after the Brigadiers face the Red Cubs at 2 p.m.
One thing going for the Generals is that they are coming off an inspiring 84-82 victory opposite the Pirates of Lyceum of the Philippines – a finalist in the last two seasons and are again favored to make it to the playoffs this year.
Marwin Taywan and Jethro Mendoza starred in EAC’s triumph as they scored 21 points each, with the latter delivering the winning basket when he scored in a layup with 1.5 seconds left.
EAC’s new mentor Oliver Bunyi said that they have to bring again their A-game anew to have a shot at beating San Beda – and in the way end the current longest losing skid against the Red Lions.
“We will try to visualize again that we can defeat the defending champions,” said Bunyi. “We’ll do our job and we’re hoping that we’re going to do the right thing, to at least have a chance to beat San Beda,” said Bunyi.
“Of course, that’s our goal (to beat San Beda) but we have to be scrappy, just like when we played Lyceum. If we’re going to be the scrappiest team, we’re going to be the happiest team in the NCAA,” added Bunyi.
San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez is well aware of what EAC can do and he has commended Bunyi and his staff for what the Generals have shown so far after two games.
Still, the Red Lions are the heavy favorites after big wins against host school Arellano University (59-46) and Jose Rizal University (74-52) during the opening week of the NCAA.