Tankoua, Lions put streak on the line vs Heavy Bombers
Donald Tankoua has become a steady force for the San Beda Red Lions in their bid for a third straight championship.
The Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers will have to cut the low-post workhorse down to size if they want to even have a shot at stopping the Red Lions on Thursday at the resumption of the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament.
“Every team will find a way to stop him once he’s inside the lane. I’m pretty sure of that,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.
Behind the stellar performance of the brawny 6-foot-4 Tankoua, the Red Lions were able to scrape past the Arellano Chiefs a week ago to sustain their unbeaten streak.
The Red Lions will go for win No. 12 against the Heavy Bombers, who showed signs of life near the end of the first round for a 4-7 record after a dismal start.
But restraining Tankoua alone won’t solve the San Beda puzzle. The rookie-laden Heavy Bombers will have to contend with MVP leading contender Calvin Oftana and an efficient platoon of guards led by Evan Nelle and James Canlas.
“We have this tendency to relax once we are comfortably ahead and I’m not happy about it,” said Fernandez, who recognizes the ability of the Heavy Bombers to pull off an upset in case they play it cool again.
Jose Rizal frontliners Stefan Steinl and Ryan Arenal have the obligation to make life difficult for Oftana and Tankoua around the rim while much is needed from Agem Miranda and Ry dela Rosa on the offensive end.
The Chiefs (2-9) will attempt to rise from the depths of a losing skein against the Perpetual Altas (3-7), another team suffering from inconsistency that led to a forgettable record in the first round.
Justin Arana had a splendid output of 23 points and 15 rebounds against the Red Lions, something the Chiefs will have to lean on versus Benedict Adamos, Perpetual’s efficient inside operator.
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