San Beda University made a statement on Wednesday by breaking the nine-game winning streak of Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
It was a game to remember for the Red Lions as they also swept their archrivals in the eliminations for the first time since NCAA Season 95.
“More than breaking the streak and beating Letran, it’s us getting a better chance of sa playoffs, yung positioning namin. Yun lan naman sinabi ko sa kanila — one game at a time,” said the Red Lions tactician after the 91-77 victory.
Escueta also shared that there are perks when facing the Knights as he and his staff can rest when giving the team a pep talk since the team is already motivated to face their favorite opponent.
“But of course playing against Letran brings out the best of the players so di na kami masyado nag-motivate mga coaches e. More on gameplan yung focus namin so talagang minotivate nila yung sarili nila,” he shared.
It was seen all throughout the contest that San Beda was hungry for the win as they were locked in on both ends of the floor, scoring 20-plus points on all quarters at the same time limiting Letran’s starters to just 28 points.
But despite the fantastic plays on both ends, the rookie Red Lions head coach also admitted that they focused more on the defensive end and had a particular game plan on shutting down both Louie Sangalang and Kurt Reyson.
“Actually yun talaga finocus namin, yung defensive gameplan namin.
“Kasi knowing this kasi, their six guys are averaging at least 10 and how they like to pound the ball inside kay Louie [Sangalang] and at the same time kay [Kurt] Reyson has been shooting recently in the past game nila kailangan respetuhin kasi papahirapan ka talaga pag pinabayaan ng pinabayaan. Kaya hats off to the players talaga,” the first-year Red Lions head coach continued.
It was evident that the Red Lions stopped both as Sangalang wasn’t able to score double digits, only scoring eight markers, while Reyson shot an inefficient 3-of-12 from the field.
And instead of celebrating after slaying the league’s top dog, Escueta does not want to be confident as they still have to face two opponents before the eliminations ends.
“We still have two game, and yung two games na yon walang madali,” he said.
“Baka mas mahirap pa yon sa Letran game na to. E ang hirap na nga netong Letran game e.”