SAN BED RED LION’ OFF SEASON FROM HELL
Observers called it the Offseason from Hell. After ending Season 87 with aplomb and showing total domination of the NCAA on October 26, 2011 with a decisive win over the San Sebastian Stags in Game 2 of a Best-of-Three, the Red Sea of San Beda faithful experienced euphoria like no other.
There they were, back on top after a momentary hiccup when the San Sebastian Stags – their bitter rival on the Mendiola-Legarda turf – pocketed the NCAA trophy in 2010. That intrusion recorded a gap in their otherwise uninterrupted sovereignty of the then 87- year old league since their 28 in ’82 comeback in 2006.
So they were back as kings of the jungle. And the same royal rituals followed -- the celebrations, the flowing spirits, the feasts, the fireworks, and the replanting of the Benedictine standards on the castle lands of Mendiola and environs. San Beda – basketball power since the reign of its illustrious and still unequalled King Caloy (Loyzaga), was on its way again to establish a long-term supremacy in NCAA basketball in modern times.
That was in October. The hangover lingered pleasurably for one month more. As December dawned, the good feeling of God in His heaven, all’s right with the world and St. Bede beaming a silent, benevolent smile across the gothic halls of the San Beda campus was rocked by surprising news. A freak incident inside San Beda’s St. Placid Gym on December 2 would officially start the Red Lions’ “off season from hell”.
Dubbed as “a Black Friday for Philippine sports” in some newspapers, the incident was a perfect storm of frayed nerves, misperceptions, heat-of-the-moment actions and regrets. Simply said, it was a scuffle that involved San Beda Red Lions coach Frankie Lim and San Sebastian women’s volleyball coach Roger Gorayeb which media