At this point, there’s hardly any surprise that San Beda is in the hunt for its 10th straight finals appearance in the NCAA.
The ever dominant Red Lions once again swooped past everyone to the top spot and holds a distinct advantage over their foes in the semis anew.
But if there’s one team that can pull off a surprise or two, it’s Jose Rizal University.
The boys of coach Vergel Meneses were mere afterthoughts 12 games into the season after dropping to sixth with a 6-6 record.
Playing every game as a knockout, the Heavy Bombers responded to the challenge, winning the last six games to clinch a semis spot in the tournament.
Will San Beda continue to stamp its dominance in the league? Or will Jose Rizal have another surprise off its sleeves?
For years Ola Adeogun has been at the apex of the foreign players’ hierarchy. Though he’s been challenged by the likes of Allwell Oraeme and Bright Akhuetie, that title isn’t gonna change hands unless one of those two guys prove that they can win big.
The fifth-year foreign student-athlete has done that and so much more.
Though his numbers dipped this season, when the game is on the line, Adeogun usually comes to play. And that’s where Abodul Poutouochi comes in.
Unlike Adeogun, Poutouochi’s consistency will be heavily counted on if they want to snatch a game or two from San Beda. The Heavy Bombers aren’t As deep as San Beda and that’s why Poutouchi’s numbers is heavily critical in this series.
We have seen what Jayvee Mocon can do in the past and we know that in the future, this team will be his. If he shows up like he did against Letran, the Heavy Bombers are in a world of pain.
What Mocon does is give Art dela Cruz an extra time to catch his breath on the bench. The problem comes for San Beda’s opponents when they dela Cruz comes in, well rested and they’re still facing a double-digit deficit.
Mocon will definitely play a crucial role in this match-up.
It has been an up and down season for Paolo Pontejos. He started out flat before finally finding his rhythm late in the season. But just when his game is starting to peak, Pontejos’ life took a sudden turn when he lost his father just a few days before their playoff for number three game against Mapua.
It’s definitely going to be tough for Paolo. Losing a father is never easy. Most people will never know what it’s like to lose someone in such a crucial stretch like this. But if the cold-blooded, spitfire Pontejos shows up, then the Heavy Bombers have a huge chance to upset the defending champions.
Jose Rizal’s cinderella story ends here as San Beda’s experience and poise will prove to be too much to overcome, thus setting up another San Beda – Letran finals match-up.
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