Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net
Back-to-back NCAA champion San Beda will be taking its act overseas as it will represent the country in the 29th Dubai International Basketball Tournament from January 19 to 26.
Red Lions team manager Jude Roque on Friday said the team will participate in the 10-team tournament to begin their buildup for the NCAA Season 94 later this year.
“We got this rare invitation to join this prestigious tournament, and represent the country against the top teams in West Asia,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn from the tough competition. At the same time, it’s an honor to play in front of our fellow Filipinos in Dubai.”
San Beda ruled the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament as it spoiled Lyceum’s bid for a perfect season and swept the Pirates in the Finals.
Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and Kemark Cariño, all members of Gilas Pilipinas pool for the 2023 Fiba World Cup, will spearhead San Beda together with Cameroonian big men Donald Tankoua and Arnaud Noah, Nigerian high-flyer Eugene Toba, and holdovers AC Soberano, Clint Doliguez, Joe Presbitero, Franz Abuda, Calvin Oftana, Ben Adamos, Jeramer Cabanag, JB Bahio, and Radge Tongco.
“Our young players will surely gain from this experience. We expect to come back home as a better team,” said Roque.
Coach Boyet Fernandez will still call the shots for the Red Lions and he will be joined by deputy Gino Manuel, liaison officer Joey de Jesus, statistician Benjie Berro, and physical therapist Mike Sunga.
Also competing in the tournament are the United Arab Emirates national team, Egyptian clubs Al Ahly and Zamalek, Lebanese teams Al-Riyadi, Homentmen, and Al-Hikma, AS Sale from Morocco, ES Radès from Tunisia, and Al-Nasr from Libya in the eight-day competition to be held at Al Ahli Sporting Club in UAE.
Kiefer Ravena, Beau Belga, and Justin Brownlee led Mighty Sports-Philippines last year in the tournament where they finished with a 1-5 record.
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