Filipino-American sensation Davon Potts will try to carry the San Beda Red Lions on his back anew as they take on the dangerous Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals as action resumes in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Potts, a 23-year-old rookie transferee out of US NCAA Division II Cal State, played hero ball in both the Lions’ 89-85 win over the defending champions Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights and 91-86 triumph over the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates three days later to zoom to the top.
The sweet-shooting Potts fired nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter against Letran and dropped 12 of his 19 points also in the final period against LPU and should be the player to watch coming into San Beda’s 2:00 p.m. showdown with EAC.
“It’s his way of introducing himself to everyone,” said San Beda coach Jamike Jarin of Potts, whose mother is from Rosario, Cavite.
San Beda will be facing an EAC team, which split its first two outings, that has shown marked improvement thanks to the emergence of Cameroonian Hamadou Laminou, who has normed 19.5 points (league fifth-best), 15.5 rebounds (second) and 3.5 blocks (first) in their first two outings.
The arrival of new coach Ariel Sison, who gave up his job as EAC’s Dean of Information Technology to focus on the team, also appeared to have put stability to the Generals, who finished poorly the past two seasons due to inner turmoil.
“They’ve improved a lot, it will be a folly to take them for granted,” said Jarin of EAC.
Like San Beda, the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals also seek to stay on top as it faces off with LPU, winless so far, at 12:00 noon.
Powered by reigning league MVP Allwell Oraeme, the Cardinals zoomed to their best ever start under mentor Atoy Co by winning their first two matches including a 78-68 win over the College of Saint Benilde Blazers on June 28.
Oraeme has put himself in early contention to win his back-to-back MVP award after he posted monster averages of 20.5 points (third), 19 rebounds (first) and three blocks (second).
“He’s our source of strength,” said Co of Oraeme.
Completing the heavy three-game bill is the showdown pitting the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers (0-2) against St. Benilde (0-3) at 4:00 p.m.