Under-the-radar Red Cubs still 100% confident about eight-peat

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 25, 2016 07:02 PM
Under-the-radar Cubs still 100% confident about eight-peat
EYES ON THE PRIZE. Sam Abu Hijleh and San Beda have their sights set on a historic eight-peat even though all the talk in the season has revolved around their newfound rivals Arellano.

Sam Abu Hijleh recorded his career-high on Monday while also powering San Beda High School to their sixth win in a row in the NCAA 92 Juniors Basketball Tournament.

Pounding in a 30-point, 14-rebound double-double, the veteran big man was the lone bright spot in an otherwise “bad game” for the Red Cubs. “Buti nanalo (kami) kahit bad game,” coach JB Sison said.

He then continued, talking about his difference-maker for the day, “Ganun lang naman talaga ang laro niya.”

Indeed, even Abu Hijleh himself was not making a big deal about his career day. As he put it, “Every game naman, ginagawa ko lang ang best ko.”

He then continued, “Hindi naman (individual recognition) ang habol natin, championship ang habol natin.”

Much like how San Beda’s season has gone in general, however, their team captain was overshadowed by Arellano High School and Carlo Abadeza just hours later.

Abadeza collected 31 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals to lift the Braves back onto solo first with their seventh win in a row – meaning, at the end of the day, Arellano had one more win than San Beda while Abadeza had one more point and four more steals than Abu Hijleh.

For their part, however, the Cubs and their floor leader aren’t at all minding not having the spotlight on them for the first time in a long while. “Kami, relax lang muna kami. Kung puro sa kanila, edi sa kanila,” he expressed.

Still, that doesn’t mean that San Beda isn’t taking lightly their quest for a historic eight-peat. Asked about their mindset in their title defense, Abu Hijleh said, “100 percent confident kami. Alam naming kayang-kaya namin yung eight-peat,”

And when the seven-time champions finally meets their newfound rivals next Monday, their team captain just had this to say, “Kung makakalaban na namin sila, edi dun na makikita.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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