Fil-Am wingman Davon Potts’ decision to take his talents to his mother’s homeland proved right—at least on his first try.
The 6-foot-2 Potts, 23, made an impressive debut in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tourney on Saturday when he provided the killer blows in San Beda’s 89-85 victory over defending champion Letran at the Mall of Asia Arena.
A Los Angeles, California native whose mother traces her roots in Rosario, Cavite, Potts banged in nine of his 16 points in the final canto, highlighted by a crucial leaner off the glass that enabled the Red Lions to restore their lead back to 86-79 with 44.8 seconds left, virtually dousing cold water on the Knights’ searing fightback.
Potts added four boards, three of them on the offensive end and a dime against a single error in more than 28 minutes of action as the starting forward, giving San Beda coach Jamike Jarin the needed lift following the graduation of their prized ‘Big 3’—Baser Amer, Art Dela Cruz and Nigerian Ola Adeogun.
A former California State-LA stalwart in the US NCAA Division 2, Potts admitted he’s pleased he made his presence felt in the Red Lions’ morale-boosting victory over the Knights, who ended their ‘five-peat’ reign last year in an epic three-game titular showdown.
“I’ve constantly told my teammates that I am just a piece of the puzzle,” he said. “Everything that I do is contributing to the team’s success. The team’s veterans have all taught me to just fit that mold to this team. San Beda has had a great winning culture and I just want to be a part of it.”
Foremost among those glad with Potts’ strong showing was Jarin.
“In our team, everybody knows how he plays. He got it going, and good thing Radge Tongco found him and he made the good plays and took care of it. He made his shots and we’re happy,” said the second-year San Beda coach.
As expected, the Red Lions and the Knights refused to give an inch and Potts nearly figured in a heated clash with Letran veteran Felix Apreku following a physical collision underneath inside the final minute.
“Just spur of the moment,” said Potts, who was quickly picked up his fellow Red Lions to avoid the incident from getting full-blown.
“I don’t take anything personally—that’s just competitiveness. There’s nothing personal,” Potts clarified. “I’ve known the history with Letran and San Beda and they’ve been going at it for years in the NCAA. It’s a big confidence boost for us as well.”
Having proven his true mettle could boost Potts’s confidence.
“I made the decision to come here to take the challenge of my teammates and my coach. I trust my coach since Day One. Me coming here is a big challenge for me and my teammates and I just want to be part of the chemistry,” he said. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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