NCAA Season 89 unfolds

San Beda College commences its campaign for a fourth straight title with a bout against host Saint Benilde College while title contenders San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags and Letran Knights square off on Saturday in the opening

of the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seniors basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Red Lions, the winningest team in the oldest collegiate league in the country with 17 titles, take on the Blazers at 4 p.m. while the Stags and the Knights clash at 6 p.m.

An opening ceremony will usher the start of the season at 3 p.m.

New Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez, who replaced Ronnie Magsanoc, expressed confidence that the Mendiola-based squad can hurdle the challenges in their quest to become the first team in 17 years to win four championships in a row.

San Beda almost did it under coach Frankie Lim in 2006 to 2008 but the Stags foiled their attempt in 2009.

Top contender Letran with 16 titles, will also parade a new coach in the person of Caloy Garcia, the assistant coach of Rain or Shine.

Veteran players Mark Cruz, Raymund Almazan, Jonathan Belorio, Franz Dysam, Kevin Racal, Jamil Joseph Gabawan and Reynaldo Publico will spearhead the campaign for the Knights, who won the championship for the last time in 2005.

“I told my players that being a Stags is a huge responsibility because it has a huge championship history, said Topex Robinson, assistant coach of Alaska, who is returning as mentor of the Stags.

Though the Stags will miss the deadly trio of Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual and Ian Sangalang this season, Robinson said that the squad will rely on their vast championship experience in their hunt for a 14th title.

Read more :
  • Lionel Messi sports tattoo with son’s name
    Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi this week in the elimination match between Argentina and Venezuela for the 2014 World Cup will debut a tattoo on his left leg with the name and the hands ...
  • Premier League: Old boys Berbatov, Jol come back to haunt Tottenham
    Tottenham Hotspur's challenge for a Champions League place received another setback on Sunday when they lost 1-0 at home to Fulham to register a second consecutive Premier League defeat. H...
  • Bibat, Becierra tie Van der Valk at helm
    Michael Bibat and Dante Becierra came through with a pair of four-under 67s to catch opening day leader Guido Van der Valk at the helm for a one-stroke lead over unheralded Elmer Saban in t...
  • Chappell falls short after flirting with a 59
    LA QUINTA, California - Unheralded American Kevin Chappell briefly raised hopes of shooting a magical 59 before he signed off with a sizzling 10-under-par 62 in the final round of the Human...
  • Kaia Kanepi forced out of Olympics
    Estonia's Kaia Kanepi has withdrawn from the Olympic Games with a heel injury. The 27-year-old had expected to recover in time to represent her country at the Games, with the tennis taking...
  • Allardyce close to new Hammers deal
    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on Wednesday claimed he is close to signing a new contract with the Premier League club. Allardyce's current deal with the Hammers expires at the end of the ...
  • FA Cup semi-final dates confirmed
    The Football Association confirmed on Friday that the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and either Manchester United or Chelsea will take place on Sunday, April 14, with a 1600GMT k...
  • Nadal prepares for Wimbledon challenge
    French Open champion Rafael Nadal AFP FILE PHOTO MADRID: French Open champion Rafael Nadal is preparing for a tricky transition from the clay to the grass of Wimbledon as his bid for a thi...