The reigning NCAA champions San Beda Red Lions will head overseas to compete in the 2018 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.
“We got this rare invitation to join this prestigious tournament, and represent the country against the top teams in West Asia,” Red Lions team manager Jude Roque said.
Ten teams, including the Red Lions, will compete in the tournament’s 29th edition: Al Ahly and Zamalek of Egypt; Lebanon’s club teams of Al-Riyadi, Homentmen, and Al-Hikma; Morocco’s AS Sales; Al-Nasr from Libya; and ES Radés of Tunisia. Rounding up the competition is the UAE national team.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn from the tough competition. At the same time, it’s an honor to play in front of our fellow Filipinos in Dubai,” Roque explained.
In 2017, Mighty Sports-Philippines headlined by Kiefer Ravena and Justin Brownlee joined the tournament. They ended up with a 1-5 record as AS Sale of Morocco claimed the title.
This year, San Beda aims to test their mettle against strong adversaries. The team headed to Dubai will consist mostly of players from their NCAA Season 93 championship run.
The Red Lions will be spearheaded by the trio of Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and Kemark Carino fresh from their Gilas Pilipinas call-up. Joining them will be Season 93 Finals MVP Donald Tankoua, sharpshooter AC Soberano, do-it-all forward Clint Doliguez, and the rest of the Red Lions. They will be looked after by head coach Boyet Fernandez.
“Our young players will surely gain from this experience. We expect to come back home as a better team,” quipped Roque.
The Red Lions will miss the upcoming 2018 PBA-D League Aspirants’ Cup where they won the championship the year before as the Cignal-San Beda Hawkeyes.
The 2018 Dubai International Basketball Tournament will be held from January 19 to 26 at the Al Ahli Sporting Club in the United Arab Emirates.