BATTLING AGAINST 17 teams from the Philippines’ premier collegiate leagues, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the San Beda Red Lions took part in the 16th Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup which made its launch last May 6 in San Juan City.
Coach Andre Santos, one of the coaches of the Red Lions, detailed how the team began their training last January, months before the big tournament. Laying out the game plan, Coach Andre exclaimed how the team was divided into two categories.
“We fielded a team that was composed of our Team A 3rd stringers, Team B players, and new recruits who will be serving their residency this coming NCAA season,” Coach Andre explained.
Upon looking into the conduct of each player, he asserted how the Red Lions have a talented pool of players for the coming NCAA seasons. However, he added that more work must be done for the players to remain consistent with the system.
The season had a rough start, as the team fell short on several games by which were being fielded by only seven or eight players. While dealing with a few injuries throughout the tournament, as per Coach Andre’s statement.
Jumping forward to the competition proper, the Red Lions came face-to-face once again with their all-time rival, the Letran Knights of Colegio de San Juan de Letran (CSJL) Knights, which, to Coach Andre, was a sight to behold given the heated histories between the two teams inside the court.
Despite the circumstances, he observed how multiple players made huge leaps in their games, most prominently AJ Royo and Emman Tagle who were also two of the players that have played in all three of the preseason tournaments including Filoil.
He even expressed that, “Royo and Tagle will definitely be key pieces in the upcoming NCAA season,” he also mentioned that the two (Royo and Tagle) have developed their skills and confidence in Team B where they get to play more and have been able to contribute more to Team A.
Looking forward to the proceeding months, Coach Andre hoped that the team would endeavour to be healthier and complete at the same degree as how the players have maximized themselves in practicing and competing in the games.
Giving many thanks to the entire Bedan community for their overwhelming support in the preseason, Coach Santos then hinted at the team’s preparation for the upcoming NCAA season.
“My only promise is that everyone in our team—including players, coaches, and staff—will continue to give our best in everything we do, may it be in practices or in games. We will make you proud. Go San Beda Fight,” he added.
(with Gian Marcel Chiu)
Photo courtesy of GMA News Online