MANILA. Sophomore standout Sudan Daniel bags his second NCAA Press Corps player of the week award after lifting San Beda against rival San Sebastian College last week. (Contributed photo)

AMERICAN behemoth Sudan Daniel proved anew that he is a force to reckon in the 86th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball after bagging the tournament's player of the week post.

With San Beda raring to sweep the first round eliminations, Daniel came big again for the Red Lions as he dished out 14 points and 19 rebounds against the squad that snapped their four-peat title bid last year, the San Sebastian Stags, 88-76.

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The Red Lions currently enjoys the top view of the nine-member tournament with an immaculate 8-0 (win-loss) card.

It was a good riddance for San Beda and for Daniel as well, who struggled against the likes of Gilbert Bulawan and fellow Most Valuable Player contender Calvin “The Beast” Abueva during Wednesday’s jam-packed game at the Arena in San Juan.

But Daniel was able to overcome the threats and overpower the San Sebastian frontline with a number of inside plays on both ends of the floor to score the win and earned his second ACCEL/Filoil NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week award presented by Gatorade and Terrilicious meat products.

Coach Frankie Lim had nothing to say but praises for the second-year standout out of Los Angeles, California, nicknamed "Superman."

"He was again a monster," said Lim.

Last year, Daniel was a non-factor in the finals as San Sebastian ended San Beda's three-year title reign with a stunning two-game sweep.

"Su was outplayed in last year's finals. San Sebastian overpowered him convincingly," Lim said. "But in this game, he learned his mistakes and showed that he can play man-for-man against them."

Daniel won the weekly honor over Jose Rizal University's Nate Matute, Arellano's Ronnel del Rosario and San Beda's Jake Pascual.

In his first player of the week award last August 1, Daniel was recognized for dismantling the undermanned Perpetual Help in July 28 by scoring 16 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked 10 shots.

Monday’s double-header

As this developed, San Beda seeks to stretch their unscathed record to nine as it squares off with a sliding St. Benilde Blazers Monday at the Arena.

“It’s a brand new start for us and we just have to keep doing what did right in the first round and hopefully improve some of it,” said Lim.

“We hope we could start something big in the second round but its always tough playing San Beda,” Benilde mentor Richard del Rosario said.

Meantime, defending champion San Sebastian is set to tangle with Emilio Aguinaldo College in the 4 p.m. match as the Stags tries to rebound from their overwhelming loss to the Red Lions last August 18.

It will be an uphill battle for the wards of coach Nomar Isla, who will be facing a solid and formidable team in San Sebastian.

The Generals finished the first round with only two wins in eight assignments, which put them at a precarious situation as the second round progresses.

The team also lost the services of starting guard Argel Mendoza who was sidelined due to a knee injury in last week’s defeat to Letran while other members like Franz Chong had a sore right leg and Russell Yaya suffered from a sprained left ankle.

San Sebastian is currently in second place with a 7-1 slate while EAC shares the seventh and eighth spots with Benilde at 2-6. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)