San Beda Red Lions
Updated Wednesday June 25, 2014 - 7:00am

San Beda sets out for a record-equaling five-peat in the NCAA men's basketball tournament when Season 90 of the country's oldest collegiate league unwraps on June 28 at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

But the Red Lions will be without last year's skipper Rome dela Rosa, who has completed his five-year stint, when they open their title drive against the host Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in the first of two matches kicking off this year's hostilities.

"We lost some players, including our team captain," said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez in yesterday's media launch of the league. "But we retained the core of last year's champion team and we hope that will help us make another run for the title."

San Beda and JRU slug it out in the 1 p.m. opener with the Red Lions going all-out to extend their domination and join the ranks of the 1993-1997 champions San Sebastian Stags and the 1968-1972 Mapua Red Robins.

San Beda, which finished second to La Salle in the recent Filoil Flying V Cup, is also shooting for its eighth crown in the last nine years. The Red Lions also reigned from 2006-08.

The road to a five-peat for San Beda rests on the shoulders of one man - Ola Adeogun. The Nigerian center is the X-Factor in which no other team in the NCAA can match, much less has an answer for. And with the road to the title cleared of any Raymond Almazans, even with a depowered Red Lions team, San Beda is a heavy favorite to win it all again.

Take him out of the equation and this year will be anyone's ballgame and championship. Practically all the other teams do not have that force in the middle and have to make up with it with undersized forwards or others used outside they regular position.

With regards to SBC, even with key pieces to their recent dynasty - seven of the last eight NCAA champions - moving on, second-year head coach Fernandez has a few more studs to count on when Adeogun is saddled with foul trouble. He has two players who can seemingly score against any defense in Baser Amer and Art dela Cruz left.

Fernandez will take his cue from the San Antonio Spurs. He has three players he can depend on and a bunch of role players to backstop them. So any talk of the lack of star power is overrated.

The Semerad brothers need to be more consistent. You'll never know when they will score or help or be saddled with fouls. Looking at their bench, Radge Tongco and Ryusei Koga will help put points on the board. Now incidentally, they are all combo guards.

However, if any team wants to unseat the Red Lions, they will have to be very creative in their attack. Having said that, right now, it is only San Beda that is assured of going to the Final Four. - Joey Villar and Rick Olivares


  1. Abatayo, Van Adam
  2. Abude, Lancelot Mikhail
  3. Adeogun, Olaide Jubril
  4. Amer, Baser
  5. Cabanag, Jeramer
  6. Dela Cruz, Arthur
  7. Koga, Ryusei
  8. Mendoza, Jaypee
  9. Mocon, Javee
  10. Pascual, Kyle
  11. Sara, Roldan
  12. Semerad, Anthony Paul
  13. Semerad, David John
  14. Sorela, Michole
  15. Tongco, Ranbill Angelo
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AU Chiefs 13 4
SBC Red Lions 13 5
UPHSD Altas 12 6
JRU Heavy Bombers 12 6
CSB Blazers 11 6
CSJL Knights 8 9
LPU Pirates 6 11
SSC Stags 5 13
MIT Cardinals 4 14
EAC Generals 4 14


Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ San Juan Arena
12:00 PM - Game 1 - Jrs/Srs
4:00 PM - Game 2 - Srs/Jrs