Coach Jamike Jarin of San Beda College said that his wards are ready for action as the Season 92 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament begins on June 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“If basketball gods will allow us, we’re hoping to go deeper into the playoffs and win the title this season,” Jarin told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “But just like any other coaches, I want to take this one game at a time.”
“It is very difficult to lose your starters but we’re not in a rebuilding process. We are just reloading this season. We still have our program,” Jarin added. “We’re going to learn in every game we play as the season goes by. I’m confident of our chances because I believe in my young players.”
The 6’8 Nigerian Ola Adeogun, Ryusei Koga, Baser Amer and Arthur Dela Cruz, have all through their playing years hence they will no longer play this season. Amer and Dela Cruz have turned professional and joined the Philippine Basketball Association.
Jayvee Mocon, AC Soberano, Donald Tankoua, and Robert Bolick, a transferee from La Salle, will support skipper Dan Sara, the only remnant of last season’s starting roster.
The Red Lions, who’ve lost to the Letran Knights in three games during last year’s championship, will also rely on the 6’1 guard Arnaud Noah, Davon Potts, Ranbill Tongco, Jeramer Cabanag and Jose Mari Presbitero. San Beda made it to the finals and won eight championships for the last 10 seasons.
San Beda College lost to Arellano University in the quarterfinals of the recent Fil-Oil Flying V basketball tournament. Jarin, however, said the Red Lions, with its new members, are still in the learning process.
He explained that the Red Lions would rely on playing defense since many of their rivals are good in offensive play.
“I’d like to call my team a track and field team because we love to run and quicken the pace as much as we can,” said Jarin.
Jarin also observed the big improvement of several teams particularly the Arellano University Chiefs under the tutelage of coach Jerry Codiñera. “It will be a tough season for sure but we’re always confident and we’re keeping the faith.”