BASER Amer and Ola Adeogun will miss the first few games of San Beda due to injuries as the Red Lions begin their title defense in Season 91 of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Amer confirmed to Spin.ph he could be out for two to three weeks after sustaining an injury in his right shoulder during Game Two of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup finals where he played for Hapee.
Adeogun, on the other hand, could miss a week of play for a hamstring injury suffered in the opener of the D-League title series won by Cafe France.
Like Amer, Adeogun also saw action for Hapee in the D-League.
The absence of the two key players couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Red Lions, who open their campaign against host Mapua Cardinals at 1 p.m.
But with or without Amer and Adeogun, rookie coach Jamike Jarin said the school’s bid for a sixth straight NCAA title will be difficult.
“I expect this season to be the toughest for San Beda considering that all the schools have improved,” said Jarin. “I believe San Beda has a tradition to preserve. We'll try to do everything to continue it.”
Meanwhile, Mapua welcomes the return of high-scoring forward Josan Nimes and the debut of Nigerian center Allwell Oraeme in its game against San Beda as the Cardinals try to end a string of losing seasons.
In another marquee match-up, last year’s runner-up Arellano takes on a much-improved Jose Rizal University in the second game at 3 p.m.
The Chiefs will be backstopped by Gilas cadet member Jiovani Jalalon and Dioncee Holts, but are up against a Heavy Bombers side which has the returning Paolo Pontejos and Cameroonian center Abdouladif Poutouochi reinforcing the team this season.
During the preseason, JRU competed in a tournament in Thailand and won the Fr. Martin Cup title.
Opening rites starts at 12 noon with NCAA Policy Board president Dr. Reynaldo Vea of Mapua leading the ceremony.