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Lions firm up NCAA grand slam bid with Dubai outing

By John Byan Ulanday

It's never too early for a season buildup as reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association champion San Beda College is set to participate in the 29th Dubai International Basketball Tournament from January 19-26 for their next collegiate caging season campaign.
Red Lions team manager Jude Roque broke the news on Friday as San Beda takes on some of the best clubs in the middle east in the 10-team tourney for its early preparation on a grand slam bid next NCAA Season 94.
"We got this rare invitation to join this prestigious tournament, and represent the country against the top teams in West Asia. It's a great opportunity to learn from the tough competition. At the same time, it's an honor to play in front of our fellow Filipinos in Dubai," Roque said.
Headlining the Red Lions are top Gilas prospects Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon and Kemark Cariño who are all part of the 2023 FIBA World Cup pool.
Joining them are resident Red Lions Donald Tankoua, Arnaud Noah, Eugene Toba, AC Soberano, Clint Doliguez, Joe Presbitero, Franz Abuda, Calvin Oftana, Ben Adamos, Jeramer Cabanag, JB Bahio, and Radge Tongco.
"Our young players will surely gain from this experience. We expect to come back home a better team," emphasized Roque.
San Beda is coming off a Finals sweep of Lyceum of the Philippines University in the NCAA Season 93 to complete a back-to-back title conquest.
Coach Boyet Fernandez will man the bench for San Beda, together with deputy Gino Manuel, liaison officer Joey de Jesus, statistician Benjie Berro, and physical therapist Mike Sunga.
Testing the mettle of San Beda are top notch West Asian teams like the United Arab Emirates national team, Egyptian clubs Al Ahly and Zamalek, Lebanese teams Al-Riyadi, Homentmen, and Al-Hikma, AS Sale from Morocco, ES Radès from Tunisia, and Al-Nasr from Libya in the eight-day cagefest at the Al Ahli Sporting Club in UAE.
Last year, Mighty Sports represented the country in the Dubai invitationals but ended with a 1-5 slate even with the inclusion of Justin Brownlee and Kiefer Ravena in the squad.

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