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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Pascual, Oftana vow to continue SBC’s tradition

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The San Beda Red Cubs are back on top, while the San Beda Red Lions are looking to get back on top and roar again in the NCAA.

Migs Pascual

For an institution that has a strong basketball program like San Beda, winning has become a habit and it’s not surprising why their respective varsity squads are raring to get back in action in the resumption of the NCAA next season.

Whether it’s going to be played under a bubble set up or with a reduced audience inside the venue, what’s more important for these teams is to continue their winning legacy and team captains Migs Pascual, team captain of the Red Cubs and Calvin Oftana, the skipper of the Red Lions, shared the challenges they expect to encounter once they return to action.       

“Siguro ‘yung team chemistry. Parang eight players ‘yung nag-graduate sa amin,” Pascual said during his interview with The Link Podcast. “Pero kumpiyansa naman kami and ‘yung mga coaches dahil alam namin na ili-lead nila kami. Sandali lang ‘yung mga training namin or konti man lang ‘yung time mag-prepare, alam namin dahil nagkakausap naman kami thru messages lang, mask ‘yung mga bagong teammates namin. Mababait naman sila at alam kong kaya rin nilang I-lead ‘yung team at tulungan ako with the help of the coaches.”

Pascual is one of the graduating players for the coming season and he intends to leave a legacy in his last playing stint with the Red Cubs. A former national youth team member, Pascual spent the quarantine period brought about by COVID-19 pandemic doing skills workout.

He has been training with the legendary Allan Caidic to work on his shooting while also doing workouts with former PBA player Rob Labagala to work on his ball handling and defensive skills at the point guard spot.

Oftana, on the other hand, had his baptism of fire playing in an international competition where he was included to be a part of Gilas Pilipinas composed by young players in the second window of the FIBA Asia Qualifier in Bahrain.

“Siguro ang pinakamahirap pagbalik ‘yung condition kasi hindi mo rin alam ‘yung ginagawa ng iba. Hindi natin alam kung nagwo-workout ba sila or hindi. Siyempre, knowing the system rin, kasi hindi naman madali makuha agad ang sistema ng isang coach. Marami rin kaming bago, so ‘yun ang nakikita kong mahirap kapag bumalik,” added Oftana.

The season has yet to start and teams have yet to see their counterparts play, but Pascual and Oftana already have an idea on which among the squads are considered as teams to beat in the coming NCAA season.

“‘Yung La Salle Greenhills and and Lyceum kasi sila ‘yung may mga recruits na bago,” added Pascual. “‘Yung Lyceum nakalaban namin sila last year sa championship. As years go by, gumaganda ‘yung program nila.”

For Oftana, losing last season which denied the Red Lions a chance for a four-peat was painful and he is determined to lead the squad this season, but it won’t be easy, what with several teams on their path.

“Ang rival ng San Beda ‘yung Letran. Mayroon silang mga bagong recruits from UST,” added Oftana.

Oftana was referring to Rhenz Abando, Ira Battaler and Brent Paraiso, who decided to move from UST to Letran right after the Tigers went an overhaul of their line up following an alleged breach in protocols during the pandemic period.        


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