NCAA: James Kwekuteye stars anew as San Beda dumps EAC
MANILA, Philippines—Three games into the season, James Kwekuteye has already installed himself at the top of the pecking order in San Beda’s increasingly talented lineup.
The Filipino-Canadian was a complicated puzzle to solve for the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals on Thursday night, leading the streaking Red Lions to another runaway 89-72 win in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.
Playing in an adverse environment at the EAC Gym in Manila, Kwekuteye simply shot the lights out with his timely snipings right in the first half as the unbeaten Lions coasted to their third consecutive triumph.
Kwekuteye, a 6-foot sophomore shooting guard, punctuated a scintillating firing spree with a buzzer-beating three at the end of the second period.
From that point on with the Lions way ahead, 45-29, the latter half was reduced to a showcase of San Beda’s firepower and the opportunity for coach Boyet Fernandez to shuffle his men and explore more combinations.
“I always give my best out there on the floor. We were able to start strong and kept it going until the end,’’ said Kwekuteye after finishing with 21 points, five rebounds and three assists. He averaged almost 15 points after three games.
The Generals, who got the contributions they wanted from marksman Marwin Taywan and pivotman John Paul Maguliano, couldn’t get help elsewhere from among coach Oliver Bunyi’s platoon of scorers as they absorbed a second defeat in three outings.
“I want to give everybody a chance to play for them to gain confidence,’’ said Fernandez. “They will need that confidence during crucial games.’’
It was another confidence-builder for point guard Evan Nelle, who had 15 points and six assists this time after dishing out 14 assists in a big win over the JRU Heavy Bombers last time out.