‘Lion Tamer’ Randy Alcantara ends another San Beda streak

Published May 13, 2022, 11:59 AM

by Reynald I. Magallon

Mapua head coach Randy Alcantara played down another unexpected run as he steered his team back to the NCAA Finals after 31 years while also ending San Beda’s 13 straight finals streak.

Photo from GMA NCAA

Interestingly, it was Alcantara who also snapped San Beda’s seven-year reign in the juniors division in 2016 when the Red Robins, then led by his current players Brian Lacap and Warren Bonifacio, defeated the Red Cubs, 84-67, in the finals of the NCAA Season 92.

Alcantara deflected the credits to his players who, according to him, really put in the work to set up a Finals clash dubbed as the “Battle of Intramuros” against the still undefeated Letran Knights.

“‘Yung mga players na yan ay talagang gusto nila na yung nakuha namin sa juniors ‘yung pinaghirapan namin ay talagang makabalik kami din sa finals. Same group din ito siyempre nga di naman ito ganun kadali pero yung mga players ko talagang gusto nila mabigay yung pride nila at ‘yung karangalan para dun sa Mapua,” said Alcantara after their 70-67 triumph against San Beda in the sudden-death semis last Wednesday.

“Siguro nagkataon lang talaga na San Beda pero gusto namin talaga makabalik para Mapua community,” he stressed

Alcantara’s career with Mapua has also come full circle as he now has the chance to give another title to the Cardinals which they last won in 1991 when he was still a player under coach Joel Banal and coincidentally also against San Beda.

“San beda rin nakalaban namin ‘yung finals pero ito semis palang parang nasa championship na kami what more pa yung dadaanin namin ng butas ng karayom against Letran,” said the veteran tactician.

Game 1 of the NCAA Season 97 Finals starts on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.