Banal downplays Chiefs' tag as one of NCAA favorites
Aldo Avinante (The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2013 - 10:01am

MANILA, Philippines -- Arellano Univeristy is tagged to be one of the favorites in the upcoming NCAA Season 89 wars but Coach Koy Banal has downplayed all their recent success in the pre-season and believes the real test is yet to come for the Chiefs.

"I'm very flattered that other coaches are thinking we are one of the dark horses this year pero sa aming mga coaches and players we keep reminding ourselves that it's just pre-season," said Banal.

"We had a good preparation this year so far so good and we are trying to put premium on defense and camaraderie for this year's campaign," he added.

Arellano will have one of the most intact lineups in Season 89 boasting at least ten returnees with only four rookies and one comebacking player.

"Our definite advantage is that we have been together for a long time now. Everybody knows everybody yun naman ang goal namin is to play together and mabuo kami as one unit," said Banal, who took over the Arellano coaching post two years ago.

He believes that there are three teams cut above the rest while the others will play for the last Final Four slot in the elimination round.

"I think San Beda will be there. Perpetual with their experience and and players like Babayemi and Omorogbe will tough while Letran will be formidable even without Kevin Alas," said Banal.

"The fourth slot will be between Lyceum, San Sebastian, JRU, EAC alam naman natin may tinatago pa na import yan, and the rest of the teams," he added.

Despite their lofty status in the pre-season hype the Arellano Chiefs are raring to prove that their performance in the summer league is for real.

"Only a foolish coach can promise a championship but we can assure our community that our players will go hard if they have to dive for the ball they will do it and play 100 percent," Banal said, who last tasted a NCAA championship in 2006 with San Beda.

Banal also left a message for the AU community asking for support as they prepare and battle in the Season 89 if the NCAA that will use the battle cry 'Our Stars Will Shine'.

"To the Arellano community please support your Chiefs and we are calling for all your prayers, this is our team we hope you can cheer us on this season."

ARELLANO ARELLANO CHIEFS ARELLANO UNIVERISTY BABAYEMI AND OMOROGBE COACH KOY BANAL FINAL FOUR KEVIN ALAS OUR STARS WILL SHINE SAN BEDA SAN SEBASTIAN
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