March 17, 2024

Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda goes for second straight win against Kennel Basketball

MARINERONG Pilipino-San Beda tests the mettle of neophyte Keanzel Basketball in the 2024 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Monday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

The Red Lions, who finished runner-up to EcoOil-La Salle last season, are coming off a 92-59 debut win against the Go Torakku-St.Clare to start their campaign.

They are again heavily favored to notch their second straight win in the 4:30 p.m. match to stay on top of the standings in the six-team field.

"Keanzel is also a newcomer so wala ulit kaming idea but again, like last game, we will treat our opponent with respect. Ganoon naman ang mindset namin every game," said San Beda tactician Yuri Escueta.

San Beda played its first match without ex-ace guard Jacob Cortez, who is now with La Salle, but his absence didn't seem to matter.

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New acquisition Bryan Sajonia led the offensive and the former FEU sniper got a lot of support from holdovers Yukien Andrada, Jomel Puno and NCAA Season 99 Finals MVP James Payosing.

Escueta is keeping his fingers crossed his starters will play with the same energy and enthusiasm opposite Keanzel.

"We always want to do our best every time we join a tournament. Winning a championship is always the goal. We want to perform better but it will be a challenge," added Escueta.

San Beda's other new acquisition are Penny Estacio, from La Salle, and RC Calimag, from UP (injured).

Keanzel, meanwhile, is fielding the core of AMA Online Education in the tournament. (JBU)