San Beda's Yukien Andrada saves best for last in NCAA title finale | Inquirer Sports

San Beda’s Yukien Andrada saves best for last in NCAA title finale

/ 10:07 PM December 20, 2023

Yukien Andrada San Beda Red Lions NCAA

San Beda Red Lions during Game 3 of the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball Finals.–NCAA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—There wasn’t a more opportune time for Yukien Andrada to come alive for San Beda than Game 3 of the NCAA Season 99 Finals.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Andrada fired a game-high 20 points built on five baskets from three and grabbed five rebounds.

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“[I’m] just happy that we won, those 20 points all came from my coaches’ and teammates’ trust,” said the forward after their 76-66 victory at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

“What they told me in the second half was, if you’re open, take the shot and that’s what I did. They really gave me a lot of trust so I’m not surprised that this is how my game went.”

After scoring just two points in the first half, Andrada shifted to another gear and scored nine apiece in the third and fourth quarters.

”[I] just stayed ready. I did workouts in the weight room, did my therapy while I had my injury and I was told by coach Yuri (Escueta) to step up my game because we were losing in that (first) round and my confidence and good games just continued,” said Andrada, who missed two games in the elimination round due to an injury.

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Yukien Andrada San Beda NCAA

San Beda’s Yukien Andrada.–NCAA PHOTO

Andrada only averaged 12.81 points and 5.64 rebounds in the elimination round but the playoffs saw a different side of him.

The 6-foot-5 gunner started shooting more while being efficient to help San Beda upset Lyceum, which had a twice-to-beat advantage, in the Final Four.

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And when San Beda lost Game 1 of the Finals against the Cardinals, Andrada became even more fired up because he didn’t want to lose to a Mapua squad who gave him beatings early in his collegiate career.

“I lost in my first season in the bubble against them. They were twice-to-beat and we lost in the second game so I really have a lot of history with Mapua.”

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“It feels great that we won. I played against them multiple times and I barely won against them so it feels really good that my team won and we’re the champions this time.”

TAGS: Mapua Cardinals, NCAA Season 99, San Beda Red Lions

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