MANILA, Philippines — Even after picking up momentum to finish the first round of the NCAA Season 98 men’s basketball tournament, San Beda head coach Yuri Escueta wants to see more stability from his squads.
The top strategist admits that the Red Lions, the team holding the 5-2 record so far, still lack consistency that could hurt them in the long run.
“I am still not very confident. We win, we lose, we win and we lose. I want to be more consistent. The mistakes I see are the same as before. So what we do is we teach them, they fix it and then in the next game, they forget about it,” Escueta said after a drunken game against Arellano 96-61 on Friday.
Escueta knew that the Red Lions couldn’t win more than three games in a row, keeping them out of the top seed pool.
While the team is holding on to third place solo, behind only Benilde (6-1) and Lyceum (5-1), Escueta has reminded his players that it is something they should not be content with.
“This season is far from over. From one episode to the next. I have young men like Justine (Sanchez) and Jacob (Cortez). We have to learn and test a lot about our individual spirit and attitudes,” said Escueta.
Sanchez and Cortez each scored 10 goals in San Beda’s most recent win over the Chiefs.
For assistant coach Talk N’ Text, the defense will remain the bread and butter of the forward-facing team.
“As long as we stick to what we do in practice, I think our defense will be effective and it will work against good individual teams and well performing teams. Our defense is really built for a team, not individuals,” he explained.
The Red Lions hunted down the Chiefs with seven steals and three blocks while confining them to an intense 32.9% clip from the scene (24-eat-73).
“The system, I know they can follow but if they are overconfident, they will do their own thing,” he added.
San Beda will next face the number one team in the league, the Blazers, handled by Charles Tiu on Sunday, 3pm
Escueta has great respect for Tiu, as he sees him effectively using his players to win important victories during the season.
“Coach Charles always prepares them well. They have a good recruiting program, they have good players, especially their point guards. That’s why I think they’re winning, their point guards are always calm.”