Donald Tankoua struggled with fouls during San Beda’s win-or-go-home game against Letran last Friday.
Despite playing just eight minutes in the first half, the Cameroonian student-athlete had already picked up three fouls.
And so Red Lions head coach Boyet Fernandez needed to dig deep in his bench to find a suitable replacement. Luckily for him, Kemark Carino was there, ready to step up.
“Nagulat ako kasi si Donald ang main center namin. Nung sinabi ni coach na, ‘Kemark, ikaw ang pumalit kay Donald.’ Parang kinabahan ako nung una. First time ko pa maglaro sa Finals,” admitted the 21-year-old Carino.
“Alam natin na foul trouble si Donald. ‘Di ko rin inexpect na ganoon ang mangyayari,” said Letran big man Larry Muyang about the 6-foot-8 Carino.
“Parang ganoon din. Magic bunot siya.”
Though he scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, the burly Muyang admitted that he struggled against the lanky Carino. For his part, the former Ateneo Team B player had six pivotal points in the third canto.
And he did it all for his seniors.
“Sobrang hirap kasi akala namin last game ng seniors namin ito, so binigay namin lahat ng best namin para may Game Three pa,” said Carino as he and the Red Lions lived to fight another day.
On Tuesday, San Beda will either win its fourth straight NCAA crown or suffer a second heartbreak to Letran in four years. That is why Carino will be ready to step up once more to give his seniors a fitting send-off.
“Para sa akin, oo. Ready lang ako lagi. Kahit anong gawin ni coach Boyet, ready ako lagi.”
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