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MANILA, Philippines – Free throws will be the focus for the San Beda Red Lions as they gun for the NCAA Season 99 crown against the Mapua Cardinals in a do-or-die Game 3 at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, December 17.
The Red Lions may have escaped with a 71-65 victory in Game 2 to force a winner-take-all clash, but their atrocious 17-of-34 shooting from the stripe left a bad taste in the mouth of San Beda head coach Yuri Escueta.
“I got mad,” said Escueta, referring to the Red Lions’ free throw struggles.
San Beda star guard Jacob Cortez took 18 of those foul shots and went on to miss half of them, although he redeemed himself with a pair of crucial free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with game-high 21 points.
His endgame heroics allowed the Red Lions to stay alive in the best-of-three championship series after they dropped the finals opener by way of a 63-68 loss.
“I just want to win,” said Cortez, the son of former PBA standout Mike.
Escueta is confident his wards are able to make the necessary adjustments, having learned the hard way after squandering a 15-point lead in Game 2.
“All of them will go back to the same situation, I’m sure they’re going to be better,” said Escueta. “It was their first time to take that many free throws.”
“That has been the theme for the entire season, we experience everything for the first time. But we’ll just keep on learning and keep on getting better.”
Game time is 2 pm. – Rappler.com