Sportswriter’s Notebook- (Part 2) Should I Stay or Should I Go?: The San Beda Red Cubs of NCAA Season 89

Dec. 15, 2013

Kamayan Restaurant,

EDSA, Greenhills,

Mandaluyong City

Sunday

9:30 p.m.

I had a great dinner during the 2013 Collegiate Basketball Awards Night at the Kamayan Restaurant in EDSA, Mandaluyong.

The lamb chops were great, and so were the tempura and the sukiyaki, the sashimi and the sushi.

The awarding rites were very simply. I wore a coat to honor the occasion. But I just left it to the other to do the awarding to the best coaches and the best players of 2013.

But, the best part of it was the conversations I had with coaches and board members of  both the UAAP and the NCAA. My talks with them were a learning experience.

San Beda Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez gave me an idea of what will happen to the Red Cubs of NCAA Season 89

“Yung programa namin is to bring the Red Cubs into the Red Lions program,” said coach Boyet.

As I asked further, there is an opening for four players in the Red Lions roster for season 90.

This means that four members of the San Beda Red Cubs which won a their fifth straight crown in the recent 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball tournament have good chances of making it to the Red Lions.

Finals MVP Arvin Tolentino is among the top hopefuls, if ever he commits.

Jan06Arvin

(Arvin Tolentino ponders on what to do with the ball)- photo sourced from Pula).

You see, he is being recruited by other schools, with the Ateneo Blue Eagles openly seeking him out.

But, he  is among the four who have an inside track of making it to the Red Lions, which won their fourth straight championship last November.

The 6-foot-five Tolentino can fill up spots in the team when mainstays Rome de la Rosa and Kyle Pascual graduate by March 2014.

And that is in the big man position.

“We’re not giving up on Arvin. I know his loyalty is with San Beda,” said coach Boyet.

And its not only Arvin, teammates Javee Mocon, Adven Jess Diputado and Ranbill Tongco also have big chances.

You see, they are among the Red Cubs’ most prolific members during the season.

That is why,   coach Boyet has  high hopes for members of the Red Cubs, and as they seek to stretch their title run to five in season 90.

“That’s our program, and that is to bring the Red Cubs into the program,” said Fernandez.

Eight members of the Red Cubs are graduating this March, and the others whom Fernandez want to remain with the school are Lancelot Abude, Benjamin de Villeres,  John Ryan Gumtang and Pierre Jacob Ancheta.

The Red Cubs made history when they finished the season with a 20-game winning streak, then they claimed their 20th championship conquest since 1967.

This was after they pulled off  an  historical 65-59 victory over the La Salle Greenhills Greenies in Game 2 of the 89th NCAA junior finals.

The Red Cubs took their fifth straight crown , a feat which was last achieved by the Mapua Red Robins, when they won it from 1968 to 1972.

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