NCAA: San Beda’s James Kwekuteye eyes playing overseas or PBA after Season 98
MANILA, Philippines—Turning professional overseas is an option for San Beda guard James Kwekuteye, who is in the middle of his final season in the NCAA.
If Kwekuteye does decide to take his act abroad, he will join a long list of Filipino basketball stars who are currently suiting up as imports in other pro leagues like the Korean Basketball League and the Japan B.League.
But the Fil-Canadian, who is also considering declaring for the PBA Draft, made it clear that his sole focus right now is to help the Red Lions in their NCAA Season 98 campaign.
“We’ll see. Most likely, either PBA or overseas but right now I’m just focused on the NCAA,” Kwekuteye said after leading San Beda to a 78-71 victory over San Sebastian on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-2 slasher finished with a game-high 20 points, coming up big in the clutch as he sank the pivotal free throws to help the Red Lions level their mark to 2-2.
Through four games, Kwekuteye is averaging 16.3 points per outing.
But more than his offensive production, Kwekuteye is trying to improve on his playmaking especially getting his teammates involved, which will be key in his transition to the pro ranks.
“Scoring’s natural for me but I’m just trying to be a point guard now because like my coach said, if I turn pro, it will really be different. I have to adjust to the system and find my teammates more,” said the 24-year-old Kwekuteye, who is only averaging 2.3 assists per game.
San Beda head coach Yuri Escueta also stressed learning how to play team basketball will elevate Kwekuteye’s game and help him thrive in the pros.
“Scoring for him is natural but when you get to the pros, you’ll be defended by Brian Heruela and the likes. You can’t just play him 1-on-1, you have to play team and that’s the next level I want him to reach if he goes pro,” Escueta said.
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.