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 :
  • Rafael Nadal plans lengthy absence
    Rafael Nadal has said that he will take a several-week absence from tennis after the Australian Open to rest and practise. The world number two will take the time off in February to recove...
  • Ignore statistics when Federer faces Raonic
    MELBOURNE - Roger Federer has won 17 grand slam titles, Milos Raonic has only ever been to a grand slam fourth round twice previously. At the start of the 2013 season, Federer had won 76 t...
  • Messi magic leaves Argentina in control in WC qualifiers
    Lionel Messi scored once and set up two goals as Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 to remain in control of the South American qualifying race for the 2014 World Cup Buenos Aires on Friday. The ...
  • 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 ...
  • Injured Tiger will not defend title at National
    Tiger Woods. AFP Photo BETHESDA, Maryland: World No. 1 Tiger Woods will not defend his title next week at the US PGA National because of a strained left elbow after doctors advised him to ...
  • Assam and Meghalaya register wins in Dr T Ao Football Tournament
    Assam and Meghalaya on Monday registered wins in the fourth edition of Dr T Ao Football Tournament organised in memory of the famous footballer from the region who captained the Indian nati...
  • Andy Murray relishing Olympic challenge
    British number one Andy Murray has claimed that he is determined to make his mark on this summer's Olympic Games in London. The Scotsman has been selected for Team Great Britain in the men...
  • Makarova eager to face rampant Sharapova
    MELBOURNE - Russian Ekaterina Makarova is eager to meet Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday even though her compatriot has been one of the dominant women...