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Escueta lauds loyal Red Lions


San Beda head coach Yuri Escueta believes his squad still has a big chance of defending its National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball title this year despite the departure of his main man Jacob Cortez.

The mentor praised the players who chose to remain to help the Red Lions’ repeat bid.

Season 99 Finals Most Valuable Player James Payosing will be back as well as Yukien Andrada, Emmanuel Tagle and Nygel Gonzales.

“These guys are committed to finishing their studies. They are not here for the money or exposure. The number one importance to them is to finish school before they go pro,” Escueta said.

“I think they are on the right track on that goal.”

Cortez transferred to De La Salle University following San Beda’s dramatic come-from-behind finals series win over Mapua University.

As part of their preparation for the league’s centennial season, the Red Lions are set to see action in the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League carrying the Marinerong Pilipino banner.

Escueta will have his San Beda core reinforced by Bismarck Lina, Bryan Sajonia and RC Calimag to settle an unfinished business.

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