Cuesta College

Cuesta College men’s basketball team reaches final of home tournament

The Cuesta College men’s basketball team won two games over the weekend at the Rabobank Tournament, putting the Cougars into the title game of the tournament they host.

Cuesta (2-0) beat Fullerton College, 71-62, on Saturday behind 21 points from center Roberto Mantovani, who also had eight rebounds. The win sets up a a showdown with defending California Community College Athletic Association champion and unanimous preseason No. 1 Saddleback College in the championship game Sunday at 5 p.m.

“They have the best personnel of any team in the state, they’re also a complete team,” Cuesta head coach Rusty Blair said. “This was our goal, when they accepted our invitation to our tournament. We know what we’re in for, playing the top team in the state. They are a force to be reckoned with.

“We want to show the public that we might be a force to be reckoned with as well,” Blair said.

In the win over Fullerton, Karem Özel added 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range. He had three assists as well.

Beñat Hevia had 11 points and a team-high four assists in the win, and Mathijs Van der Mars came off the bench to provide five steals, eight points and eight rebounds.

“He was our hustle guy,” Blair said.

On Friday night, Cuesta beat West Hills, 70-53, shooting a blistering 16 of 30 from 3-point range.

Rafail Eleftheriou 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Evgeniy Moiseev had 11 points and six rebounds. Mantovani had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Hevia put up six points and had seven assists.