A wild animal is most dangerous when cornered. The San Beda Red Lions lived up to the laws of nature as they handed the LPU Pirates their first loss of NCAA Season 93. With that, the Red Lions go from being underdogs in unfamiliar territory to defending champs one win away from a back-to-back bonfire.
That was some game, but the action off the court was just as exciting. Here are the best moments that you won’t have seen on TV.
Potts gets emotional
Davon Potts bit his lip and furrowed his brow as the Red Lions raised their hands after their pre-game meeting. It’s been a rough season for last year’s star player, and he had played just nine scoreless minutes in their double-OT loss to the Pirates last month. Could he be the missing piece for San Beda?
I told Potts I knew he wanted to prove something today, and he laughed. “I told coach, ‘just give me the minutes,'” he said. “I know I can help this team. In clutch situations, I don’t fumble.”
His coach listened. The PBA-bound Potts made a triple to open the game, and by the end of the game, he had made 15 points in 25 minutes, and 4/5 from deep.
Potts. Is. Back.
The Red Lions were down 50-45 at the half. Before their coaches arrived in the dugout, the team got busy listing their shortcomings. (18 turnovers points for LPU, man.)
“Calm down. Calm down,” Potts repeated as his teammates continued to talk over him. When they listened, he went on: “I promise you, we’re good. This is the best we’ve played against them all season.”
Robert Bolick stalks his prey
There are two sides to Robert Bolick: the happy-go-lucky joker who kills it on talk shows, and the hyper-competitive “Beast Mode Bolick” who hates losing more than he likes winning.
Bolick had simmered before the big game, staring into the distance and speaking in uncharacteristically short bursts. “Focus lang talaga,” he said. “I’m not thinking about Game 2. I just want to win today.”
Those emotions boiled over during the game, with Bolick screaming in one huddle after a messy possession. Later, with the score tied 80-all with less than three minutes left, it was Bolick who went on a do-it-all tear, leaving defenders in the dust to find his own shots.
A moment with Jamike
It’s no secret that many of the Red Lions are still close to their former coach Jamike Jarin, who now coaches the NU Bulldogs. They watch Jarin’s games on weekends, and even have a Viber group with lion and dog emojis for its name.
After the school hymn, the Red Lions approached Jarin and hugged him tight. Jarin gave Joe Presbitero, who matured from quiet guy to team captain, a hard thump on the chest. After the boys left, Jarin refused to be interviewed: “Don’t take any of the attention away from them. This moment is all theirs.”
— Ceej Tantengco (@ceejtheday) November 10, 2017