EXPECT fireworks as a slam-bang affair between reigning champ Letran and its rival San Beda opens the basketball wars of NCAA Season 92 on June 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The anticipated finals rematch between the Knights and the Red Lions begins at 2 p.m., according to the schedule released by the league on Wednesday, right after the 12:30 p.m. opening ceremony of the oldest league in the country to formally start the new season.
Mapua, meanwhile, clashes with Jose Rizal University in the second game of opening day double-header at 4 p.m.
Letran and San Beda collide for the first time in the NCAA since the Aldin Ayo-coached Knights, led by Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal, beat the Red Lions in Game Three of last year's finals to claim the Season 91 crown .
However, the Knights enter Season 92 without Cruz, Racal, and even Ayo as former National University juniors coach Jeff Napa has taken over the head coaching chores at Letran, which is now led by Rey Nambatac.
The Red Lions also have their share of key losses for Season 92 in Art Dela Cruz, Baser Amer, and Ola Adeogun.
Following the opening day, the men’s basketball tournament immediately resumes on June 26 at the Filoil Flying V Centre, formerly The Arena in San Juan, as preseason favorite Arellano clashes with Perpetual Help at 12 noon.
The Chiefs have had an impressive preseason build-up, winning the Fr. Martin Cup, Got Skills, and several pocket tournaments in the provinces while finishing runner-up to La Salle in the Filoil Cup, which makes the squad as the title favorites this season.
San Sebastian battles College of Saint Benilde at 2 p.m., while Emilio Aguinaldo College takes on Lyceum at 4 p.m. to complete the Sunday triple-header.
On the other hand, juniors basketball begins on June 27 at the Filoil Flying V Centre with all the teams seeing action.
Seniors games will be played every Tuesdays and Fridays while juniors will be every Mondays and Thursdays.
An All-Star game is slated August 12 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.