NCAA: Letran coach Bonnie Tan rues Game 3 absence of closer Fran Yu
MANILA, Philippines—Fran Yu’s absence for Letran will be crucial in the defending champions’ performance in the fourth quarter as the NCAA men’s basketball finals heads to a decider, admits coach Bonnie Tan.
In a televised interview with 24 Oras on Wednesday, Tan bared that losing Yu will affect Letran most during the most crucial part of the game.
“The biggest challenge is playing without a leader inside the court, how we can win, how we can close it out in the endgame,” Tan said. “We know what Fran Yu contributes as our leader and on the court in the endgame.”
Yu was dealt with a disqualifying foul in game two of the NCAA Season 98 men’s Finals after throwing an elbow to Blazers’ Mark Sangco at the 5:29 mark of the second quarter.
Letran filed an appeal for the current captain of the Knights to play the do-or-die game on Sunday but was almost immediately denied by the league’s managing committee.
The graduating guard was a runner-up for the Mythical Five team and led the league in steals at the end of the elimination round with two steals per game.
Yu is currently posting norms of 10.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per outing.
Still, top coach Tan believes the Knights can push through without their floor general stating that losing a player due to technicality is not new nature for them.
“As a head coach, it’s unfortunate to lose one leader inside the court but this is not the first time this happened.”
In the first round of the season, Louie Sangalang and Brent Paraiso sat out for two games due to disqualifying fouls in a game against the Mapua Cardinals.
The shorthanded Knights will square off against the Blazers for one last time on Sunday in a do-or-die third game for all the marbles at Ynares, Antipolo.