SAN Beda is sticking to the positives as it heads to the Final Four on the NCAA men's basketball tournament as the top-seeded team, even with the threat of forfeiture still hanging over its head.
A task force created by the league's management committee deferred action on the 'larong labas' case against Red Lions guard Ryusei Koga on Tuesday, saying it wants "to allow the teams to focus on the impending semifinals and finals" of what had been a dragging, controversy-filled season.
That allows San Beda to go to Thursday's Final Four as the top-seeded team with a twice-to-beat advantage against fourth seed Perpetual. The other semifinal match-up pits second seed Letran against old rival San Sebastian, with the Knights enjoying a twice-to-beat edge.
“We still welcome that development,” San Beda team manager Jude Roque told Spin.ph on Wednesday. “At least now we know who we’re playing and that gave us one day to prepare against Perpetual.”
Although they can breathe easier for now, the Lions still run the risk of having their title-retention campaign railroaded as the league has reserved the right to reopen the case against Koga “should new evidence surface in the future.”
Even if the Red Lions go on and win a fourth straight league championship, they may end up being stripped of the title if Koga is proven guilty in the future.
Still, Roque said San Beda would rather focus on things it can control.
“If that happens and we have to forfeit and it’s a fair decision and a fair investigation, then we have no choice but to accept whatever consequence,” Roque said.
“But we cannot also assume that something like that will come up. We just have to play,” he was quick to add.