REIGNING NCAA men’s basketball champion San Beda will be undergoing an intensive training in the United States in preparation for its bid for a fourth straight league title.
Coach Boyet Fernandez said the Red Lions will be leaving on Saturday to train again at the Joe Abunassar Impact Basketball Center in Los Angeles, just days after UAAP titlist Ateneo left to attend a camp run by the same group in Las Vegas.
Both varsity programs are supported by businessman/sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan.
“That’s San Beda’s yearly summer training basketball camp,” said Fernandez, adding the team is scheduled to return on May 15.
The Impact Basketball Center, which also trains NBA players, has four sites around the US, including one in Las Vegas, where five-time UAAP champion Ateneo will have its own annual, offseason training.
The newly-appointed Lions coach said he will be joining the trip even though NLEX – which he also handles – is still currently competing in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
“My priority is San Beda,” said Fernandez, who will miss at least two games for the Road Warriors.
San Beda point guard Baser Amer is currently nursing an injured hip, but is expected to be ready for training camp. Last year’s Finals MVP missed two games for the Red Lions in the ongoing Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup owing to the injury.
“I was advised by the doctors to rest Baser para makasama siya sa States, which is an important aspect of our summer training,” Fernandez said.
“That is why we rest Baser for San Beda and NLEX so that he will be ready. Sayang naman kasi kung pupuwersahin namin tapos kapag pumunta siya doon, hindi niya kaya,” added the San Beda mentor.
The Red Lions will be taking a leave from their Filoil tournament campaign holding a 2-1 (win-loss) slate. They will return to action on May 18 against Far Eastern University.