With 'Bandana Bros' Nelle and Canlas, the future is now for San Beda

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 23, 2019 07:28 PM
With Nelle and Canlas, the future is now for San Beda
Evan Nelle and James Canlas are ready and raring to keep roaring as San Beda's backcourt of the present and future

For the last three games of the 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament, James Canlas and Evan Nelle tried out a new look.

Or, in their words, did a new drip.

"I think it's like a new drip, a new style," Canlas said right after San Beda University outclassed De La Salle University, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre, to complete a clean sweep of the preseason tournament.

This was in reference to the black Nike bandanas the young backcourt were wearing for the third game in a row - following the look's debut in their quarterfinals semifinals showdown opposite Far Eastern University a week ago.

And thus far, the look has been a success - not only are the second-year guards looking good, they are playing good as well.

In their quarterfinals victory versus the Tamaraws, they had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists together.

Then in their semifinals triumph over Adamson University, they had 24 points, 12 rebounds, and nine rebounds together.

They saved their most complete game for last and in the Finals opposite the Green Archers, combined for 19 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds - outplaying their more experienced counterparts in Jordan Bartlett, Andrei Caracut, and Aljun Melecio as well as prized prospect Joel Cagulangan who only merged for 19 points on 6-of-24 shooting, seven assists, five rebounds.

More than that, however, the black bandanas are a symbolism of Canlas and Nelle's partnership - a partnership that the Red Lions are hoping will lead them for the next four years. "They're best of friends. I think that's really their kind of sign of brotherhood," head coach Boyet Fernandez said.

As it turns out, the multi-titled mentor has indeed challenged his young backcourt to waste no time in maturing - as the three-time kings of the NCAA are already dealing with the loss of Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon. "I already told these two guys that you really have to play the way San Beda plays and you really have to be the leaders of this team. Without Robert and Javee, we need these two," he shared.

He then continued, "As long as they continue to play beautiful music together, we'll be a team to be reckoned with."

And that challenge has only been met head-on by both Canlas and Nelle.

"We accepted it right away, but we're working on it pa," Nelle, a product of the red and white's high school program said. "We can't really say that we're the leaders na because we have good captains in AC [Soberano] and Clint [Doliguez], but our veterans are grooming us naman."

Through it all, they plan on continuing to do their new drip. "We'll do this in the NCAA also. We're like Splash Bros.," Canlas, a Filipino-Canadian standout, answered after being asked if the bandanas will still be there come Season 95.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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