MANILA, Philippines - The San Beda Red Lions take the centerfold as they mount their bid for a league-high five straight championships but eyes will be on Lyceum and Emilio Aguinaldo College which hope to finally gain regular membership in the NCAA, which unfolds June 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Lyceum is playing its second probationary year while EAC is on its fifth and their performances this season not just in basketball but all the other sporting events will serve as basis for the approval of their regular membership.
“We wish them well this season and may they consistently meet what is required to become regular members,” said Management Committee chairman Paul Supan of host Jose Rizal yesterday, referring to the Pirates and the Generals.
“Just like when they were elevated to probationary status from being guests, we’ll be happy when the day we welcome them as regular members comes,” he added.
Lyceum and EAC hope to follow in the footsteps of Arellano U, which was handed regular membership early this year after its exceptional efforts in many disciplines and meeting all the requirements set by the league.
The other league mainstays are Jose Rizal, San Beda, San Sebastian, Letran, Mapua, St. Benilde and Perpetual Help.
Meanwhile, San Beda clashes with Jose Rizal at 1 p.m. in the Season 90 opener, seeking to jumpstart its five-peat bid and join the company of the San Sebastian Stags, the San Beda Cubs and Mapua Red Robins as the only teams to snare five titles in a row.
San Beda has been the decade’s dynasty after winning seven of the last eight championships capped by four straight crowns.
The Lions though have never won more than four titles and if they win it again this year, they will join the company of the Stags, who snared five titles in a row from 1993 to 97, the Robins (1968-72) and Cubs (2009-13).
The league has also added a Saturday game to its regular Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule making it a seven-game week offering instead of the traditional six.
Supan also said they’ve re-scheduled the seniors’ matches from 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. from 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. a season back while the juniors’ games will be played at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. last year.