Yuri preaches school loyalty

In his first year as San Beda University head coach, Yuri Escueta is bringing in more than just a new system into the storied program.

He also wants his players to have that undying love and passion for the school they are representing.

Speaking after the Red Lions’

78-71 victory over San Sebastian College in Season 98 National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament last Wednesday, Escueta stressed that having players brush up on the school’s rich culture and tradition is crucial in developing a strong basketball program.

“When we were in high school, the school hymn was played every day. But with the pandemic having mostly online classes and with a lot of recruits, how would they fight for the school if you don’t know the alma mater,” Escueta said.

“I want them to know about the alma mater and the values of being a Bedista. The passion of the alumni comes from their love for the school. It’s important for me (and) to other Bedistas as well.”

Save for veterans James Kwekuteye, Peter Alfaro, Damie Cuntapay, and JB Bahio, this San Beda unit has a mostly young core led by Tony Ynot, Clifford Jopia and Jacob Cortez.

While Escueta might be a rookie head coach for San Beda, he played for the school in the juniors division under the late Ato Badolato.

And with the Red Lions now racking up a win and holding onto a 2-2 win-loss record, it looks like Escueta’s plan is working.

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