Nelle on Red Cubs’ chances: ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna win’
SOUND THE ALARM. Evan Nelle and San Beda are not sweating still trailing Malayan and CSB-LSGH in the standings.
A week ago, dynastic San Beda High School lost to lowly Jose Rizal University for only the second time in the last nine years.
And while that just may have been a low point for any other team, the championship-caliber Red Cubs had always known how to deal with it.
“Blessing in disguise yung nangyari para magising yung team namin,” team captain Sam Abu Hijleh said. “Kasi alam naming intact kami, pero ‘di kami ganun ka-dominant. Kailangan namin talaga gawin lahat ng pinapagawa ni coach.”
Indeed, not only did the champions in seven of the last eight years wake up, they also proceeded to stand up and then beat up erstwhile undefeated Malayan High School of Science, 87-81, last Friday.
Yes, the very same Red Robins who are the defending champions and who downed San Beda in last year’s Finals.
Still, becoming the very first team to beat Malayan does not mean that the Red Cubs of old are back. Talking about what they’re still lacking, Abu Hijleh said, “Yung consistency namin, wala pa. Kasi sa practices, ang gaganda ng ginagawa namin tapos nawawala pagdating sa laro.”
The good news is court general Evan Nelle has taken it upon himself to be at the forefront of claiming that consistency.
After averaging only 12.3 points, seven assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in the first six games, the graduating guard busted out with 27 points built on five triples to go along with six assists, three rebounds, and two assists up against the defending champions. “I hope this is just the start for us. We’re all working extra hard lalo na ako kasi up and down, up and down yung game ko,” he said.
Whatever it is, be it a humbling loss to the Light Bombers or be it trailing Malayan and College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills in the standings, Nelle said San Beda is full of confidence that, when all is said and done, it will reclaim its throne. Asked if they felt weird not being the favorites in the season, he answered, “It doesn’t matter.”
He then continued, “We’re gonna win. We’re gonna win.”
For his part, head coach JB Sison is not one to make guarantees. “Sana talaga nagising na kami. Kailangan nagka-wake up call na talaga kami e. Sana ito na yung momentum namin,” he said.
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