First on the hardcourt…
The JRU Heavy Bombers stuck to its game plan, to live and die with the three point shot, and to hustle off the glass, handing the San Beda Red Lions their first loss in the 84th season of the NCAA. San Beda, who struggled with turnovers and poor field goal shooting, watched as the Heavy Bombers resurrected their three point shooting percentage in the second half. The Mendiola cagers now say bye-bye to their sights on a sweep of the elimination round, dropping to a 4-1 win-loss record, behind league leading Letran.
It was tough for me to accept that the Red Lions failed to regroup late into the fourth where usually they erect a huge lead or let off a rampaging rally. JRU was well-prepared for battle. They coolly stuck to their go-for-broke plan, and sadly for the Bedans, it worked.
In hindsight, I was heartbroken, yet satisfied with how the game turned out. Finally, the Heavy Bombers came out to play. Realizing that his players were not just good for body slams and karate chops, Coach Ariel Vanguardia totally abandoned their dirty and highly physical game plan. He decided that to beat San Beda, he had to go back to the drawing board and come up with cerebral play. On top of it all, his players were just driven to finally beat San Beda, after three years of languishing in humiliating losses.
Next, in the board room…
In the late evening, the ManCom declared the official forfeiture of San Beda in its game against Saint Benilde on 18 July 2008. You know the story behind this. I’m done talking about it. At least it’s over. Now moving on…
This day will go down in history of the NCAA as that day where a team showed up in the hardcourt once and lost twice. The first back-to-back losses for the Red Lions since 2006 are bitter pills to swallow. The invincibles of the NCAA are back again in the middle of the pack.
The Bedan coaching staff will have to see the players through, dealing with the mental torture springing from this debacle. This is an entirely new scenario for the Escobal-Ekwe-led squad. The team will have to dig deep and find the roaring desire that the Red Lions used to have. I expect Frankie Lim to lead these boys back to the level of play that they are capable of.
This serves as a lesson to all, a very painful one.. But I’m betting my bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun… (Hmmm, Annie??) The Red Lions WILL bounce back strong.
It could only be one thing, the pursuit for the Dynasthree will be a rough, rowdy road. Looking at it at the bright side, claiming it will be all sweeter and memorable.
Animo San Beda!