NCAA 83 Preview: San Beda Red Lions

21 06 2007

“Every Game Counts” – Coach Frankie Lim

Season 82 Averages:

2PT%: 39%, 3PT%: 28%, FG%: 61%, FT%: 36%, Rebounds: 51.2, Assists: 15.9, Blocks: 4.4, Steals: 4.1, Turnovers: 18.6

Gone are: Martin Antonio, Eduardo Canlas, Alex Angeles, Kevin Espinosa and Micah Evangelista.

Additions: Guards – Antonio Caram and Alvin Padilla, Forward – Garvo Lanete and Center – David Marcelo

Still there: Guards – Enrico Tirona, Jr., Ogie Menor, Borgie Hermida, JR Tecson and Pong Escobal, Forwards – Raymund Maggay, Riego Gamalinda, Yousif Aljamal and Kristoffer Taupa, Centers – Jay-R Taganas and Sam Ekwe.

Thus said newly-appointed San Beda College head coach Frankie Lim before the 83rd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) begins on Saturday at the historical Araneta Coliseum.

Prior to Koy Banal’s resignation, Lim accepted the challenge to continue what Banal did a year ago when San Beda College ended a 28-year of title drought after beating Philippine Christian University to claim the last year’s crown.

“I have no any idea how Koy run this team, but I’m sure this team has the edge to become champion again,” said Lim. “Our intact line up is the key to repeat.”

Samuel Ekwe, the 6-foot-8 Nigerian center, won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after leading the Red Lions in rebounding (13.8 in 14 games played), blocks (2.8) and points (8.5).

“The inclusion of Ekwe this season is very exciting and crucial,” said the Talk ‘N Text team manager. “But I’m hoping other players will step up too. With Sam around, our line up becomes balance and competitive.”

Power forward Yousef Aljamal led the Red Lions in scoring with 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in 14 games last season. John Paul Escobal, the finals hero, finished last season with 11.1 points per game average.

Lim also said the Red Lions are expected to rely on their strength where he emphasizes man-to-man and zone defense and their high-octane running game.

“Every scrimmages, I’m telling them to run as fast as they can to develop their running game,” he said. “In defense, I’m instructing them not to leave any of their opponent.”

Gabby Lanete, the younger brother of Philippine Basketball League (PBL) grand slam champion Harbour Centre Chico Lanete, and David Paul Marcelo are the rookies to watch for San Beda College this season. Actually, San Beda must stay healthy to repeat this season.

The Red Lions have a weakness at the point guard position and a lack of manpower in the middle. Pong Escobal is not a natural quarterback but a combo guard. Borgy Hermida is steady and can control tempo but he’s the only one they’ve got who is a legit pass-first player.

San Beda is more dangerous when they get their transition offense going in high gear off a rebound rather than bringing down the ball and convert on a quick kill..

In the NCAA press conference held at the ABS-CBN Building, Coach Lim made this point very clear that “the players, with their recent experience now understand how to win a championship. It is hard to win one, but to retain one is even harder.”

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5 responses

21 06 2007
kobe

handang-handa na ang red lions para sa back 2 back champion sa season 83..

22 06 2007
oca

Every other NCAA coach who was asked to rate the opposition pointed to San Beda as the team to beat. Surprisingly, none gave a hint on the weakness of their top pick. Are we to believe they have no idea on how to beat the Red Lions?

Much has been said about the strengths of this team. Let me have my take from the other side.

To beat the Red Lions, force them to play a half-court offense.

Coach Frankie Lim himself said theirs is a high-octane running game. Why then let them play with what they have trained for?

Opponents must be quick with their transition defense. Plug the outlet passes. If the Red Lions can be forced to a half-court game for a cumulative 15 minutes of a 40 minute ballgame- they will be beaten.

Imo, only Aljamal and Hermida are capable of consistently delivering in a half-court set. The rest will sputter.

Just like last year, a simple 2-3 zone with athletic big men at the second line of defense will do the trick. Those two losses came off this defensive formation and there isn’t much change in the Red Lion line-up which tells me they can do better.

Then, make the Red Lions backcourt work at both ends of the floor. Make Escobal and Hermida play honest defense.

Lim has shored up the guard rotation with the inclusion of Tirona, Padilla and Caram. But until Padilla and Caram has proven their mettle they will just be rookies. As for Tirona, he would fit into the running game, but orchestrate a half-court set at end game?

Lastly, try to keep the game close at end game. Don’t give the Red and White a comfortable cushion entering the last 4 or 5 minutes of the game. My gut feel is the Red Lion coaching staff is capable of making some blunders in a tightly contested ballgame.

Tell me what collegiate coaching credentials these guys have?

Collegiate basketball is a completely different contest from other levels of basketball competition. The atmosphere, the emotions and intensity are can make your pro and semi-pro background irrelevant.

22 06 2007
kobe

“he who doubt, dies”
-koy Banal

23 06 2007
BedaN

Indeed Koy brought the drought down but I’m really not impressed with the way he work out things and stuffs. He is like coach Jong Uichico of GSM… Yep, they’ve won championship for a team numerous occansions that granted them such level of respect but honestly, it was due to the fact that they do have good players unmatched to other teams… (Try to look if Ekwe wasn’t around, when will we be?)

It’s too early also to tell the new coach’s capacity but it’s good the Koy already left…

Sorry for the criticism, this is a freeboards after all… Let’s just hope they make a repeat 🙂

24 06 2007
BOB AQUINO

I m hPPY WITH THE WAY OUR RED LIONS PLAYED IN THE OPENER OF THE NCAA BUT LETS DOFF OUR HATS NOT ONLY TO THE PLAYERS BUT MORE SO WITH FORMER COACH KOY. HE INFUSED THE WINNING FORMULA IN WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP— INTENSITY AND PASSION. WITHOUT THOSE THINGS I DONT THINK WE WOULD HAVE WON THE TROPHY FOR OUR BELOVED SAN BEDA. OF COURSE THE DOWNSIDES ARE MANY GAMES PLAYED BY THE BEDANS IN VARIOUS TOURNAMENTS WHICH FINALLY TOOK ITS TOLL IN OVERFATIGUE AND ULTIMATELY SACRIFICING THEIR STUDIES. THUS, IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, ITS BETTER FOR SAN BEDA TO GET LIM AS COACH ESP. IF KOY COULD NOT CONCENTRATE FULL TIME FOR THE RED LIONS. GUD LUCK CLASSMATE FRANKIE. GO SAN BEDA FIDHT!!!!

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