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Escueta looks to prepare Kwekuteye for next level — wherever that is


James Kwekuteye has been a stable force for San Beda University.

The graduating Red Lion had his highest scoring performance this season, scoring 20 points in a win against San Sebastian.

But it wasn’t the scoring that head coach Yuri Escueta felt impressed with regarding Kwekuteye, but rather how his team plays.

“Hindi ko siya masyado napanood last season, but I know he can score. The one thing I appreciate in what he’s doing now is on the defensive side,” said Escueta after their 78-71 win against the Stags.

“He’s putting his effort defensively, getting rebounds. Ta’s offensively, he’s trying to look where the open teammates are and he’s trying to read what the defense is giving. Tapos making good decisions in offense,” the former Red Cub continued about Kwekuteye, who is currently averaging 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists this season.

“Pero yung defensive side niya yung pinaka happy ako.”

The Filipino-Canadian is currently averaging two steals and almost a block per game – having three swipes and a swat in his last two games.

The first-year Red Lions head coach expressed his desire to improve the overall game of Kwekuteye as he’s only months away from being pro-bound.

2022-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Finals-TNT-vs-San-Miguel-Jayson-Castro-x-Brian-Heruela Escueta looks to prepare Kwekuteye for next level -- wherever that is Basketball NCAA News SBC  - philippine sports news

“Kasi scoring for him is natural e. Siyempre when you get to the pros, he’s gonna be defended by… Sino ba mga wings? Mga Brian Heruela, ayun. ‘Di mo ma-one-on-one mga yon. Ayon yung next level na gusto ko mapuntahan niya. Alam naman niya yon diba. To be able to play with the system, to know what the defense is doing, what you’re supposed to do and how to react on it,” said Escueta.

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“Well you know like he [Escueta] said, scoring is like natural for me. Me, I’m just trying to be like a point guard now, because when said, the pros are gonna be different. I have to adjust to it,” Kwekuteye echoed.

“So I just have to find my teammates more and play in the system just like what coach is telling us to do.”

Despite getting ready for the pros, the San Beda senior revealed to Tiebreaker Times that he still had no plans on where to play at this point.

And just like many of the college players right now, he is open to the idea of playing overseas.

NCAA-98-SBU-vs.-SSCR-James-Kwekuteye-2590 Escueta looks to prepare Kwekuteye for next level -- wherever that is Basketball NCAA News SBC  - philippine sports news

“We’ll see, either PBA or overseas. But right now I’m just focused on the NCAA, then we’ll go from there,” Kwekuteye, a member of the NCAA Season 95 Mythical Team member said.

“If I get an offer overseas then I’ll look to it, diba? If not, then I’ll just go to the PBA, and I’ll put my name in the draft. We’ll see after the season. I’ll talk to my agent and then we’ll go from there.”

Written By

Writer. Letranite. Basketball nerd and a life-long Los Angeles Lakers fan. My love for sports brought me here.


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