Games Friday
(Filoil EcoOil Arena)
2 p.m. — AU vs San Beda
4 p.m. — SSC-R vs JRU

ONE of the reasons for San Beda University resurgence as an NCAA force in Season 99 is the emergence of Fil-Canadian rookie Jomel Puno.

Mr. Puno has been sensational the last two weeks when he keyed the Red Lions’ four-game win streak and flight to No. 2 after the first round of elimination and should be a marked man entering their game against the Arellano University (AU) Chiefs today (Oct. 27) at the Filoil EcoOil Arena.

In that impressive span, Mr. Puno dropped an average of 13 points and the same number of boards that catapulted San Beda, now with a 7-2 record, back not just in Final Four contention but in the title race as well.

In fact, the Red Lions will have a chance to grab a share of the lead with the Mapua Cardinals (8-2) should they hurdle the Chiefs (1-8) in their 2 p.m. showdown.

And expect the rebounding demon in Mr. Puno to serve as tree of life for San Beda again.

San Beda coach Yuri Escueta, said Mr. Puno was recommended by PBA star Jayson Castro, who has played with Mr. Puno’s dad in the past before their family migrated to Canada. And Mr. Escueta knows rebounding, as well as great shot selection, would spell the difference. — Joey Villar