SAN BEDA coach Boyet Fernandez and several players from the Red Lions won’t have a lot of time to rest after their conquest in the NCAA cage wars as they shift to the PBA D-League.
The Red Lions get back to the floor on Monday as the NLEX Road Warriors debut in the Aspirants Cup on when they face Arellano-Air21 Chiefs at the JCSGO gym.
The four-time D-League champion Road Warriors, who have a school tie-up with San Beda, play the Chiefs at 12 p.m.
Among the San Beda players who are part of the NLEX roster are Finals Most Valuable Player Art Dela Cruz, Baser Amer, Ola Adeogun, Rome Dela Rosa, Kyle Pascual, and Ryusei Koga. They join holdovers and Gilas cadet members Kevin Alas, Jake Pascual, Ronald Pascual, and Matt Ganuelas, and Borgie Hermida and Kirk Long.
The game against Arellano-Air21 will be played less than two days after the Red Lions bagged their fourth straight NCAA crown when they beat Letran in Game Three of the Season 89 finals.
NLEX was not in a celebratory mood, however, as the players reported to practice on Sunday.
The Chiefs hope to pull an upset as they look to continue their winning form after beating Zambales M-Builders, 77-73, last week.
In other games, Big Chill aims to remain at the top of the standings when it faces Cebuana Lhuillier at 2 p.m.
The Superchargers have won their first three games and climbed to the top spot when erstwhile leader Cagayan Valley lost to Hogs Breath Café, 82-78, on Thursday.
Big Chill will take on a Cebuana Lhuillier squad that was upset by Wangs Basketball, 72-86, last week.
“Cebuana is coming off a loss and we know that they will be hard pressed to get a win and gain back their confidence. We have to work doubly hard if we want to prevent that and stay on the winning track,” Big Chill coach Robert Sison said.
In the third match, Café France faces Derulo Accelero at 4 p.m.
The Bakers are out to improve their 2-2 win-loss slate while the Oilers aim for their first win after four starts.
Team standings: Big Chill 3-0, Hogs Breath Café 2-0, Cagayan Valley 4-1, Jumbo Plastic 3-1, Blackwater Sports 2-1, Boracay Rum 2-2, Café France 2-2, Zambales M-Builders 2-3, Cebuana Lhuillier 1-2, Arellano-Air21 1-2, Wangs Basketball 1-2, NU-BDO 0-3, Derulo Accelero 0-4, NLEX 0-0.