MANILA, Philippines – Four-peat champions San Beda College opens hostilities as it clashes with a dangerous Jose Rizal University (JRU) at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament season opener on Saturday.
The game will begin after the opening ceremonies of Season 90, which will carry the theme, "NCAA Season 90: We Make History. Today's Heroes, Tomorrow's Legends."
The Red Lions will take on the Heavy Bombers at 1 p.m.
The game will be followed by a 3 p.m. clash between last year's runner-up Letran and traditional powerhouse San Sebastian.
This season will also feature Arellano University as the league's eighth regular member after San Beda, Letran, San Sebastian, Perpetual Help, St. Benilde, Jose Rizal and Mapua Institute of Technology.
Emilio Aguinaldo and Lyceum are seeking to achieve the same status with solid showing not just in basketball but in other sports as well.
"We're happy to be regular members and we will try to improve each season," said NCAA board member Peter Cayco of Arellano during Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Cayco was accompanied by fellow board members Dax Castellano of St. Benilde, San Beda's Jose Mari Locsin and Jeff Tamayo of Perpetual Help and management committee chair Paul Supan of hosts JRU.
Other developments to watch out for in this season include St. Benilde's bid of retaining the overall championship it won last year; San Beda aiming to win its fifth straight basketball title and eighth in the last nine seasons; and Perpetual Help trying to sustain their excellence in indoor volleyball and cheerleading.
"We're optimistic of our chances of retaining the overall title," said St. Benilde board representative Castellano.
"No team is weak when facing us because everybody wants to beat San Beda," said San Beda's Locsin.
"We're looking to keep the winning tradition in volleyball and cheerleading and hopefully win some in other sports like basketball and beach volleyball, perhaps," said Tamayo of Perpetual Help.