REIGNING back-to-back NCAA champion San Beda is set to represent the Philippines in the 29th Dubai International Basketball Tournament that will take place from January 19-26 at the Al Ahli Sporting Club in the United Arab Emirates.
The Dubai tournament, which will serve as part of the Red Lions’ offseason preparation after skipping the PBA D-League this season, will have the team facing more experienced clubs from West Asia backed by top-notch imports from all over the world.
Last year, Mighty Sports Philippines – reinforced by ex-pros and three imports – struggled against the competition, finishing with just a 1-5 record.
“We got this rare invitation to join this prestigious tournament and represent the country against the top teams in West Asia,” said San Beda team manager Jude Roque.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn from the tough competition. At the same time, it’s an honor to play in front of our fellow Filipinos in Dubai,” he added.
Leading the pack for the Red Lions will be Robert Bolick and Donald Tankoua, the two players who powered the Red Lions in the impressive sweep of Lyceum in the Season 93 Finals.
Gilas pool members JV Mocon and Kemark Carino will be among the local standouts for the Red Lions while coach Boyet Fernandez can turn to Arnaud Noah and Eugene Toba to help Tankoua as imports.
Completing the cast is for the tournament is the UAE National Team, Lebanese Clubs Al-Riyadi, Homentmen and Alhikma, Egyptian teams Al Ahl and Zamale, Moroccan club AS Sale, Tunisian team ES Rades and Al Nasr of Libya.