After their victorious run in the NCAA 83rd season, San Beda mainstays John Paul Escobal and 2007 NCAA Finals MVP Rogemar Menor join the RP-Harbour Centre Squad tryouts for the upcoming 2007 Southeast Asian Games to be held this December in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. This development marks another exciting chapter in the lives of the Red Lions, as well as Bedan alumni, following the moving up of King Red Lion Yousif Aljamal to the professional ranks.
Escobal and Menor, Pong and Ogie, as we fondly call them, will be part of the roster who seeks to regain basketball supremacy in the region. In 2005, the basketball tournament was scrapped from the biennial meet since the Philippines, the host country then, was disqualified by the FIBA from all international competitions. They will join the lineup, consisting of big amateur stars like Jason Castro, Beau Belga, Patrick Cabahug, Jervy Cruz, among others. The team will be coached by erstwhile PCU coach Junel Baculi.
Both San Beda stalwarts will bring in exciting facets to the team. Escobal, arguably the smartest combo guard in amateur basketball today, will showcase his wide range of talents, from sniping on the outside or slashing down the middle, or orchestrating the offensive. Menor, on the other hand, will display his arsenal of tricks rushing down the open court to complete the fastbreak as well as his daredevil drives to break the defense of the opposition. Oh well, I can go on and on about what they can do. But well, you all know now.
In other news, the Red Lions are back to their role as students as they are to skip the Philippine Basketball League this year to concentrate on their studies. Last year, after their glorious return to supremacy in the NCAA, the Red Lion turned blue, in a lackluster performance at the PBL finishing second to the last in the team standings, under the Magnolia franchise. There were prior talks this year for San Beda to continue their agreement with Magnolia, or to play for a different team. Borgie Hermida, apparently was picked by Hapee, during the PBL draft. After this decision by the San Beda Management, Hermida’s stint in the PBL remains uncertain.
Well, I’m just mighty proud of Pong and Ogie. After fighting tooth and nail for our beloved alma mater, they are now on to a new challenge, to represent our beloved Philippines! If only we could all fly to Thailand…
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Go San Beda Fight!
A recent development came out in the Philippine Star today.
San Beda pulls out Menor, Escobal from SEAG five
By Joey Villar
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
which reads in part,
“Reigning NCAA back-to-back champion San Beda yesterday pulled out Rogemar Menor and Pong Escobal from the national team competing in the Southeast Asian Games slated Dec. 6-16 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand…”
To read the entire article, this link shall take you to Philstar.com
SAN BEDA PULLS OUT MENOR, ESCOBAL FROM SEAG FIVE
This turns out to be a sad development of the country, and probably a painful decision for Escobal and Menor, to give up their chance to represent the country in the SEA games. But well, it is true now that the season is over, it’s time for these two young men to concentrate on their academics, because after all, they are students.
I would have loved to see them play for the country though… But there will be lots of other chances for Pong and Ogie.