MANILA, Philippines – The San Beda Red Lions will open their defense of their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title with a severe handicap when they take on the Arellano University Chiefs this Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Red Lions will have only six players available when they take on the Chiefs after being hit by suspensions meted out by the NCAA.
According to San Beda head coach Ronnie Magsanoc, the Red Lions will only have Antonio Bonsubre, Ritchie Villaruz, John Mark Ludovice, Christian Moralde, Francis Abarcar and Arthur Dela Cruz for their first game.
San Beda’s other players are serving suspensions after figuring in a brawl during an NCAA volleyball game last December.
Magsanoc acknowledged that it will be difficult for him to figure out the rotation and substitution patterns given the shortage in personnel, but he said his team will still fight.
“(I have) no expectations. Laban lang,” Magsanoc said.
While some players will return after just one or two games, Nigerian big man Ola Adeogun will be suspended for four games.
“We just have to make the necessary adjustments for the four games, and at the same time try to be as competitive as possible without him,” Magsanoc said.