Escueta to keep stars in Lions’ den

San Beda University head coach Yuri Escueta is determined to recruit high school stars Cristopher Hubilla, John Lopez, and Jharmaine Lecciones to be part of the seniors team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

In a text message to Daily Tribune, Escueta confirmed that he is talking to the three Red Cubs standouts about the possibility of keeping them in the Lions’ den.

“The Red Cubs are our priority: Hubilla, Lopez and Lecciones,” Escueta said.

The three young stars have what it takes to lead the Red Lions back to glory.

Hubilla, for one, delivered a monster double-double performance of 37 points and 14 rebounds with two steals during their Final Four encounter with La Salle Green Hills in the NCAA junior boys’ tournament.

He also put up 34 points and 15 rebounds in their first semifinal battle and 21 points and 19 rebounds against San Sebastian College in the second round.

Lopez and Lecciones, meanwhile, chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the Red Cubs’ 85-89 setback in their first Final Four battle with the Greenies.

Escueta, a former Ateneo de Manila University stalwart, added that the troika has been getting tempting offers from various schools, including those from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, but he is determined to keep them in red and white.

He said he wants to include the high school stars in their practices to see how they can transition into the seniors program.

“They are welcome to join our training sessions. We would love to have them,” said Escueta, who steered the Red Lions to a 12-6 win-loss card in Season 98 last year.

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