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Nelle roots for Red Lions

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UAAP EVAN Nelle wants his luck to rub off to his former school, San Beda University, in its NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball tournament best-of-three finals series against Mapua University.

Evan Nelle is set to wear a different hat following his title-clinching performance for De La Salle University against University of the Philippines in Game 3 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s basketball best-of-three finals showdown.

Nelle said he will play the role of a cheerleader in support to his former school — San Beda University — in this finals battle with Mapua University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 99.

The Red Lions need Nelle’s support more than ever after they absorbed a 63-68 loss to the Cardinals in Game 1 of their best-of-three finals series.

“They’re going to win for sure. That’s San Beda. Coach Yuri (Escueta) has his tactics, they have a good point guard in Jacob (Cortez) and they have a good team,” said Nelle, who won an NCAA title as a freshman with the Red Lions in 2018 before moving to La Salle.

“I’m confident over the chances of those boys.”

Nelle served as the key factor for La Salle, which clinched its first cage title since 2016.

In Game 3, Nelle dropped 12 points while providing muscles at the defensive end that shut down UP star Francis Lopez en route to a 73-69 victory.

Few hours before raising the trophy and cutting the net, Evan’s former team, San Beda, suffered a sorry five-point loss that sent them to a do-or-die contest on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Should they prevail, the Red Lions will seal a winner-take-all Game 3 next Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. From there, anything can happen.

And Nelle believes that his old school would end up raising the trophy the way they did after they beat the Fighting Maroons last Wednesday.

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