Head coach Boyet Fernandez said San Beda’s trip to Lithuania is now a go after the visa applications of the entire team were approved on Thursday.
“We will be training just like what Gilas did. We hope to learn more." San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez
The Red Lions will be leaving for Lithuania on Saturday for a three-week training period where they will have four pocket tournaments against taller collegiate teams that play European-style basketball.
“We will be training just like what Gilas did. We hope to learn more,” said Fernandez.
Last year, Gilas Pilipinas also went to Lithuania to train for the Fiba-Asia Championship in Manila. It led to a berth in the 2014 Fiba World Cup when the nationals finished second to Iran in the tournament.
Lithuania is a major force in world basketball having produced several NBA stars that include Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis.
Unlike in previous preseason trips where the team traveled to the United States, San Beda will train in Europe for the first time.
Fernandez believes the trip funded by team patron Manny V. Pangilinan and the San Beda community will be more beneficial to the squad since the European brand of game suits NCAA rules more than the US game.
“More on Fiba rules kasi ang NCAA tapos malalaki pa (ang makakalaban sa Lithuania) so hopefully (the trip) will help us a lot,” said Fernandez.
The Red Lions are gearing up for Season 90 where they will be seeking a fifth straight crown.
Among the San Beda players that will make the trip are Ola Adeogun, Kyle Pascual, Art Dela Cruz, Baser Amer, and Ryusei Koga. Incidentally, the five will also miss three games for NLEX in the PBA D-League.