THE controversial case of San Beda College player Ryusei Koga casts a dark shadow on the Final Four phase of the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament set to begin on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The NCAA Management Committee led by Dax Castellano of host College of Saint Benilde, is still reviewing the case of Koga who allegedly played in another tournament on September 17, an act, which is in violation of the league’s rules. If found guilty, four games won by the Red Lions with Koga will be forfeited dropping San Beda to fourth place. If that would be the case, San Beda will instead face Letran in the semifinals while the Stags will meet the Altas in the other match. The NCAA Mancom is still deliberating the case as of press time.
“All we have to do at the moment is to prepare for any possibility. In our practices, we prepared for set plays against at least two opponents because we are not certain which team we are going to face until a final decision can be made already,” said San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson.
Letran coach Caloy Garcia shared the same sentiment, saying they are willing to play against anybody in the semifinals.
“We are very happy to be in the Final Four. Now, we know we are going to face San Sebastian but it can still be changed depending on the outcome of the investigation. For us, whichever team we are willing to face,” said Garcia during the recent PSA Forum held at the Shakeys in Malate.
Barring any changes, top seed and four-peat seeking Red Lions (15-3) face University of Perpetual Help Altas (11-8) at 2:30 p.m. while second seed Letran (14-4) takes on no. 3 team San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags (12-7) at 12:30 p.m. Both San Beda and Letran are carrying twice-to-beat incentives for finishing no. 1 and no. 2 respectively in the eliminations.