(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
2 p.m. — San Beda vs Arellano
4 p.m. — Mapua vs San Sebastian
San Beda University crosses paths with an Arellano University side playing under a new system to set its redemption bid in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99 men’s basketball tournament in motion today at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Game time is at 2 p.m. to be followed by the Mapua University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos showdown at 4 p.m.
The Red Lions are bringing in multi-titled coach Norman Black as consultant to help second year mentor Yuri Escueta better the former champions performance this season after losing to eventual runner-up College of Saint Benilde in the Final Four last year.
“As a rookie coach last year, something I learned last year was you really can’t take days off when you play whoever NCAA teams during the season. Any team can beat you at any given day. If you’re not prepared you’ll lose,” Escueta said.
“You can get beat by any team which makes this season more exciting. We have new coaches coming in but they were named early so they have months to prepare.”
Escueta will pin his hopes on holdovers led by team captain Peter Alfaro, Jacob Cortez and Damie Cuntapay to fill in the void left by the departure of key players James Kwekuteye, JB Bahio and Tony Ynot.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, welcomes new head coach Chico Manabat as replacement for former tactician Ramon Martin.
“We have prepared well for this season. Despite having a rebuilding team we are confident we can go
toe-to-toe with any team this season,” Manabat said.