Despite losing aces Robert Bolick and CJ Perez, the rest of the NCAA still sees the San Beda Red Lions and the Lyceum Pirates as the house bets to win the Season 95 Seniors Basketball Championship.
All eight teams from the league were in unison, saying that the two protagonists are favored to meet once again in the season’s finale.
“Team to beat is really San Beda. Maganda performance nila nung preseason,” said Perpetual head coach Frankie Lim, referring to the Red Lions’ sweep of the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup.
“Favorite pa rin yung Lyceum,” said San Sebastian mentor Egay Macaraya. “Kahit wala si CJ Perez, nandiyan pa rin siya,” he quipped, pointing to former Stag Jayson David.
“If I have to pick, Lyceum,” said Letran mentor Bonnie Tan, who is returning to coaching after six years.
“San Beda and Lyceum pa rin,” opined Mapua head coach Randy Alcantara, who was promoted to the seniors division after winning the NCAA Season 94 Juniors Crown with the Red Robins.
But unlike the past two seasons, the coaches feel that the Red Lions and the Pirates are vulnerable this time around.
“All the nine teams, you can’t really disregard,” said JRU head coach Louie Gonzalez, who is taking over from Vergel Meneses.
“The teams are pretty much well balanced this time,” added CSB head coach TY Tang, who was fifth last season.
“Aside from San Beda and Lyceum, Letran and San Sebastian are strong teams,” opined EAC head coach Oliver Bunyi.
“San Beda and Lyceum may advantage pa rin sila. Pero the other eight, I think we’re going to give them a good fight,” shared first-year Arellano tactician Cholo Martin.
For Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson, he is mostly excited to test his mettle against the five new coaches in the league.
“I’m excited to play against the new coaches.
“I can’t single out any team right now. Based on the preseason, everybody’s been really stepping up,” shared Robinson.
The Red Lions, who won 11 of the last 13 championships, are wary of the competition. That is why they prepared harder than ever for this defense.
“Lahat naman ng teams nag beef up, including the coaches. Malakas mga teams,” said Boyet Fernandez.
“Pero siyempre we’re out to defend the crown.”
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