THE path to a fourth straight NCAA men’s basketball title is going to be an uphill climb for San Beda if back-up guard Ryusei Koga is found guilty of playing in another league while Season 89 was ongoing.
Such possibility is not lost on Red Lions star Baser Amer.
“Yes, it comes to mind,” Amer admitted to Spin.ph on All-Saints Day. “But basketball is played one game at a time, so that’s how I and we as a team approach it; just prepare and play.”
If allegations against Koga prove true, the Red Lions will forfeit four of their victories and finish with an 11-7 (win-loss) slate, in the process surrendering the top seeding and the twice-to-beat advantage that comes with it.
It would also mean that, although the reigning champions will still make the playoffs, the Lions will slide to fourth place in a sudden matchup with archrival and twice-to-beat Letran, instead of facing struggling University of Perpetual Help in the Final Four.
But despite all the concerns, preparations have been smooth for San Beda, according to Amer, who refuses to get affected by the situation.
“The issue hasn’t really affected us,” the 21-year-old playmaker beamed. “We are still the same, practicing every day. We’re just focused on the upcoming Final Four and to defend our championship.”
The NCAA management committee is still in the process of investigating the matter, with Jose Rizal University representative Paul Supan saying on Thursday they are still “verifying submitted documents and (conducting) due process.”
Asked if he can vouch for his backcourt partner’s innocence, Amer, though, didn’t answer directly.
“Kogs is part and will always be a part of this team. He is our brother.”