NCAA: San Beda takes ‘positive step’ in bid to reclaim title, says coach
MANILA, Philippines—Yuri Escueta notched his first win in the NCAA as head coach of San Beda–a victory he hopes to build on as Season 98 progresses.
Escueta said his team’s 29-point drubbing of Emilio Aguinaldo College is a step in the right direction as the Red Lions aim to regain their “winning culture” after their finals streak was snapped last season.
“It’s a positive step. I tell them, it doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small step, as long as we’re moving forward,” Escueta said after their 85-56 win over the Generals on Tuesday at San Juan Arena.
San Beda barged into the win column after absorbing a season-opening loss to Mapua, which knocked off the Lions in last season’s semifinal round.
Red Lions team manager Jude Roque knows Escueta has the pedigree to steer San Beda back to glory.
“Coach Yuri also came from a winning culture. In high school, he was already part of the San Beda champion team. He also knows how to win, maybe he needs some more experience on the big stage but he will surely get there,” Roque said.
San Beda finished Season 97 elimination round with a 7-2 record to settle for the third seed–an unusual sight for a team that almost always ends atop the standings. Last season also marked the first time in 14 years that the Red Lions did not make the finals.
The Red Lions swept the eliminations in Season 95 but lost to rival Letran in a three-game finale.
San Beda hopes to get a streak going against Lyceum on Saturday, 3 p.m., at the same venue.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.