By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
There will be a new chief tactician for the San Beda Red Lions.
After failing to clinch an NCAA men’s basketball championship title since 2019, the Red Lions is going all out this season by tapping the services of alumnus Yuri Escueta.
Escueta, a former member of the San Beda Red Cubs during his high school years, will replace veteran coach Boyet Fernandez and try to put the team back on top.
Red Lions team manager Jude Roque announced Escueta’s appointment during their off-season preparations.
Escueta’s vast knowledge of coaching the game started after he was absorbed by Ateneo de Manila University as an assistant coach and continued to hone his craft while leading the Blue Eagles’ Team B to a title during the 2019 Macau College Invitational.
As his career grew, PBA’s TNT Tropang Giga decided to place him in the coaching staff and was also recruited by the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team.
“A former San Beda juniors standout and a proud Coach Ato Badolato protégé, Yuri returns to his high school alma mater with a rich basketball coaching knowledge gained from several outstanding tacticians from his college days to his various coaching stints as an assistant coach for Ateneo, Gilas, and TNT,” Roque said.
Despite getting replaced, Fernandez will be taking on a new role of being the Red Lions’ active consultant effective next season.
Under the mentorship of coach Fernandez, San Beda clinched four NCAA basketball championship titles and compiled a terrific 16-4 record in the playoffs.
Completing the San Beda coaching staff are Manu Inigo, Jenkins Mesina, Alex Angeles, Francis Cruz, and Andre Santos.