Photo by Angela Davocol/The LANCE.
By Miguel La Torre and Jonash Dannug
After losing four straight games against San Beda University ever since he assumed position, Letran head coach Jeff Napa now possesses a complete arsenal that could stand toe-to-toe against the perennial National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) powerhouse.
For their first encounter this season, Napa is looking to end his winning drought against San Beda. “Makakalaban na ako sa kanila ng patas ngayon. For the past two years, hindi ako makalaban ng patas sa kanila eh,” he said.
The arrival of Larry Muyang, Christian Fajarito, Bonbon Batiller, Fran Yu, EJ Agbong, and Jason Celiz to reinforce Letran’s nucleus of Bong Quinto, Jerrick Balanza, JP Calvo, and Jeo Ambohot puts Napa in a great position to grab his first win against the defending champions.
“Ngayon, I’m very confident with my team na whatever might happen, I’m pretty sure na mag pe-perform yung mga bata ko,” he added.
The last time the Letran Knights scored a victory against arch-rival San Beda Red Lions was at the game three of the NCAA men’s basketball finals in Season 91.
That time, Aldin Ayo was still at the helm, together with Blackwater guard Mark Cruz and Alaska energizer Kevin Racal. The troika denied San Beda’s bid for a record-setting sixth-straight championship. San Beda on the other hand, had Gilas stalwart Baser Amer, Ginebra forward Art Dela Cruz, and foreign student-athlete Ola Adeogun.
Ever since dethroning San Beda in the 2015 finals, the Knights faced the Red Lions with an almost incomplete line-up. As a result, they are yet to covet a win against them for the past two seasons.
Tomorrow, Napa and his wards will face the Red Lions at 4:00 p.m., at the Filoil Flying V Centre; hoping to end the Mendiola-based squad’s winning streak against Letran.