DE LA Salle and San Beda vow to come out winners in the ‘Champions For A Cause’ benefit game to be played for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda on December 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Head coaches Juno Sauler of De La Salle and Boyet Fernandez of San Beda said they will treat the exhibition game as if pride and bragging rights are at stake as old foes in the NCAA rekindle their rivalry, decades after the Green Archers bolted the league to join the UAAP.
“Sa akin, walang difference ang basketball, whether it is a Game One of the finals, eliminations, or practice game. We treat each game as if it is the UAAP,” said Sauler.
“We treat every game as an important game. We will look to win more so because we are wearing the San Beda uniform,” said Fernandez.
The game between the UAAP and NCAA champions this season hope to raise funds which will all go to the respective relief programs of both schools.
Tickets for the event that will also be aired live on TV5 are available at TicketNet outlets as well as in La Salle, and San Beda with prices pegged at Patron P1,000, Lower Box P500, Upper A P300, Upper B P150, Bleachers P100.
“All the proceeds for the game will be split between both schools. Fifty percent goes to San Beda and 50 percent goes to La Salle so they can use the money for their respective relief efforts,” said Filoil Flying V sports chairman Mandy Ochoa during a press conference for the event on Tuesday.
Aside from the ticket proceeds, the alumni associations of both schools have also pledged P1,000 for each point scored by their respective teams.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support. Everybody showed solidarity to come together for this charity game,” Ochoa added.
Both coaches are also glad to be part of the benefit game to help the victims of the devastating typhoon.
“Everyone feels the same way (about the super typhoon). We are really glad to be part of this ‘Champions For A Cause” not only in the basketball aspect but whatever aspect we can do to help,” said Sauler.
“Nung nalaman namin ito, hindi kami nag-atubiling sumali. As part of the San Beda community, we will always be there to support the victims,” said Fernandez.
San Beda’s Kyle Pascual was glad for the opportunity to help the super typhoon victims just by playing in a benefit game.
“It’s humbling and it shows that we can start helping even though we are just college basketball players. We are happy to have the opportunity to give back,” said Pascual.
Even the legends of both schools look forward to witnessing the benefit game and help make the event successful.
“During my college days, we had La Salle, San Beda, and Ateneo in the NCAA. That made the NCAA the number one collegiate league in the Philippines,” said San Beda alumnus and former Red Lions head coach Frankie Lim.
“Basta for charity, I’ll do everything I can,” said La Salle legend Lim Eng Beng, recently diagnosed with liver cancer.
“If I can play basketball again, kasi as of now, there is no signal from my doctor. But if I can play, I will. But for charity, mark my word, I will do everything I can.” Lim said.
As for the game, Sauler expects that his team will have a difficult time against the NCAA champions.
“I remember watching their series (against Letran). I just think that they are a well-disciplined team being in the championship year in and year out. It will be a privilege to go up one of the best teams in the country,” said Sauler.
Fernandez also sees the same thing with the Green Archers.
“It’s an honor to play against the UAAP championss. I know coach Juno, he is a worker. The team is disciplined in terms of execution. It’s going to be an exciting game,” said Fernandez.