DRINKING buddies turn into enemies for now as San Beda and Arellano face off in the 90th NCAA men’s basketball Finals.
With both schools just walking distance away from each other, it’s no longer a surprise that players from both camps would bump into each other in the few bars in the vicinity.
And Red Lions forward Art del Cruz admitted he has spent time in bars with the Chiefs players Nico Bangga, Ice Ciriacruz, John Pinto, and Prince Caperal during the season.
“Off the court, sobrang okay kami (ng Arellano players),” Dela Cruz said in a chat with Spin.ph after practice. “We’re talking and sometimes nagkikita kami to drink kasi ang lapit ng Beda sa Arellano.”
But the bar-hopping will have to take a backseat as both teams vie for the crown.
“Kahit na mga kaibigan namin sila, on the court, walang kaibi-kaibigan muna,” Dela Cruz said. “Siguro when someone’s down, just pick them up lang.”
Although Lions coach Boyet Fernandez has not prohibited them from drinking during the season, Dela Cruz said he has stopped the drinking sessions altogether since the Lions’ ended the elimination round with an uncharacteristic three-game skid.
“Kasi si coach Boyet walang pakialam sa ginagawa mo off the court,” he said. “Basta lagi lang niya sinasabi na perform well at wala akong pakialam sa labas.”
“Pero nakakasira yung vices, yung lumalabas sa gabi,” he added. “Tigil muna natin 'yung nagpupuyat. Kailangan lang namin mag-sacrifice.”