National

Lions, Pirates seek No. 2

Lions, Pirates seek No. 2

Defending champion San Beda is not taking any chances despite the unimpressive debut of Jose Rizal University in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.

“It’s going to be tough facing them. They are young and they have a new system with a new coach,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.

Tip-off is at 12 noon.

Mentored by Louie Gonzales, the Heavy Bombers gamely fought San Sebastian in the first half before falling prey to the Stags, 82-51, in their season opener on Tuesday.

“I really admire what he (Gonzales) did for La Salle last year. This will be a tough one for me,” added Fernandez.

Seeking a straight crown, the Red Lions were jittery during their opening match, needing to put the cuffs on comebacking explosive guard Kent Salado to quell the Arellano Chiefs’ uprising.

“I hope it will be a different San Beda when we play JRU. We have to continue working on our execution and settle down as the games wear on,” said Fernandez.

San Beda will again be led by its core of forward Donald Tankoua down low and guards James Kwekuteye and Evan Nelle in the backcourt.

As for Gonzales, he would need consistent offensive firepower from veteran guards MJ Dela Virgen and Aaron Bordon to keep them in this game.

Lyceum will also gun for a second straight win when the Pirates face the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals after the Letran Knights and the Chiefs tangle in the 2 p.m. match.

The Pirates, last year’s runners-up, were impressive in their first victory after cutting the taller Knights down to size, 84-80, with their speed anchored on twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino.