DONALD Tankoua had the choice: leave and pursue his playing career overseas or stay in San Beda for one final run.
The steady Cameroonian center admitted that making the decision was hard, but at the end of the day, he listened to what meant to him the most: his family.
"San Beda is family and if the family needs you, you stay. It's the last year for imports in the NCAA, so I stayed," he said.
But more than what he brings to the table for the Red Lions, it's education which weighs more for Tankoua.
"It's really big. My future and having a business," he said. "I'm really happy to stay. It's a dream for all the parents to see their child having a diploma."
Coach Boyet Fernandez added: "Donald is determined to really finish his college career with a championship."
Everything else is just a plus.
Tankoua was a solid presence for San Beda in its 59-46 opener over Arellano, firing 13 points and 12 rebounds to open the NCAA Season 95 seniors basketball tournament on Sunday.
Fernandez was just in awe of the stability the 6-foot-6 big man has provided for the Red Lions, especially in this drive for a four-peat.
"He’s our best player in the post and he dominated and showed it today," he said.
As much of a force as Tankoua is down low, Fernandez reiterated that no man could do it by his lonesone and San Beda's success will rely largely on how cohesive the team will work.
"We’re hoping to continue looking for Donald in the post but again, it’s a team effort. We won’t only rely on Donald but we rely on everybody in this team. Donald will always be there," said Fernandez.
Tankoua seconded that argument, noting: "We have to really improve, play together so that we'll know each other better and maybe, win the four-peat."
San Beda returns to action on Friday against Jose Rizal University.