Crimson Lions pursuit of misplaced crown will kick off from unfamiliar place to begin

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San Beda vs St Benilde in the NCAA Season 97 men's basketball tournament. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

San Beda vs St Benilde within the NCAA Season 97 males’s basketball match. NCAA/GMA PHOTO

Seventeen years.

That’s how lengthy it has been since San Beda final completed exterior of the highest two spots on the finish of the elimination spherical of the NCAA males’s basketball match. It’s been that lengthy for the reason that Crimson Lions haven’t had playoff safety of any type in its journey to the championship.

Friday’s 59-56 defeat to defending champion Letran pushed San Beda right down to the No. 3 spot, however Lions coach Boyet Fernandez noticed adversity headed their method a lot sooner than that.

“The gamers knew the danger after shedding to Mapua [last Saturday],” Fernandez mentioned, referring to a 68-54 defeat that opened the door for the Cardinals to leapfrog to second place. “I already laid issues out to them that the scenario goes to be robust.”

However as they are saying concerning the sturdy ones when the going will get robust: “I’m positive my boys will probably be prepared,” Fernandez mentioned.

“I nonetheless imagine we have now a superb likelihood.”

In spite of everything, this isn’t the primary time San Beda—which received three straight titles earlier than Letran stopped it chilly within the final season earlier than the pandemic struck—might want to overcome obstacles to say an NCAA crown.

Classes from earlier than

About 5 years in the past, the Crimson Lions watched Lyceum sweep its approach to a Finals berth, plunging everybody else right into a stepladder playoff. Fernandez mentioned his team will attempt to carry the identical type of mentality that propelled them to the crown in opposition to the Pirates.

“Simply the identical [mindset] again in 2017 when LPU (Lyceum of the Philippines College) swept it,” he mentioned.

The Crimson Lions had solely a day to lick their wounds after shedding to the Knights earlier than selecting themselves as much as put together for St. Benilde within the first stage of the play-in, Season 97’s newly launched bonus spherical.

“My gamers are longing for redemption. Everyone knows CSB (School of St. Benilde) is a robust team, and we’ll put together in opposition to them as we all the time do. It will likely be robust, however we’re going to compete,” Fernandez mentioned.

The Lions defeated the Blazers, 67-63, final week.

“I’m positive my boys will probably be prepared for the whole lot, particularly we’re going to play St. Benilde immediately this Sunday, so simply sooner or later off [for us],’’ Fernandez mentioned.

“At the least my gamers realized that we’re a superb team with the way in which we performed [against the Knights] and hopefully we proceed to enhance on that,’’ he added.

Duel vs Mapua

The Lions fells to No. 3 with a 7-2 report behind the Knights (9-0) and Cardinals (7-2).

The winner of the San Beda-St. Benilde conflict advances to the semifinals in opposition to Mapua. The loser drops to a different layer of the play-in, the place it faces the winner of the Perpetual-Arellano duel.

The younger Altas wound up at No. 5 regardless of having the identical report (4-5) with the Chiefs.

“Most of our gamers are coming off from highschool with only a few veterans, so it’s an achievement for Perpetual to achieve this far,’’ mentioned Altas coach Myk Saguiguit. “We’re nonetheless within the means of rebuilding and we are able to see that what we intend to perform is slowly taking place.’’ added Saguiguit.

Each play-in video games will probably be held at Filoil Flying V Enviornment, which has already accepted followers.

“It’s totally different while you play in entrance of a crowd. The gamers turn into extremely motivated,’’ mentioned Arellano coach Cholo Martin.

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