Andrei Caracut’s bounce-back game keeps DLSU alive in UAAP Finals

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“Third quarter o second quarter, sabi ko basta kailangan gayahin ako ng mga teammates ko, so nagstart ako ng defense.”

The DLSU Green Archers live to fight another day, or live to fight until the final day, rather, as they overcame an early deficit to take game two of the UAAP men’s basketball finals, Wednesday afternoon at the Big Dome, evening the series up at one game apiece and forcing a third and final game. 

While it was DLSU’s usual suspects – reigning back-to-back UAAP MVP Ben Mbala and UAAP Season 80 Most Improved Player Ricci Rivero – who led the charge for the defending champions, it was third-year playmaker Andrei Caracut that provided a much needed spark, especially after a forgettable outing in the UAAP Finals opener. 

Caracut, who was held scoreless in game one, put up thirteen points, and grabbed three rebounds for his best game against bitter rivals Ateneo this season. 

When asked what fueled Caracut to his bounce-back game, the DLSU guard’s response was, mysterious, at best. 

“Siguro madami lang akong pinag-huhugutan.”

While Caracut didn’t go into detail about his ‘hugot’, he did say that another reason was that he didn’t like seeing his teammates down, especially during the UAAP Finals. 

Make no mistake, defending champions DLSU had every reason to be down during the first half. Down by as big as 21 points, and with star Ricci Rivero being hampered by foul trouble, things weren’t looking all too peachy for the Green Archers. 

“Habang naglalaro ako, iba yung feeling eh, na nakikita mo yung teammates mo na down, parang ayaw ko na may mawala sa amin pag natalo kami.”

Instead of being down as well and letting Ateneo run away with the UAAP championship, Caracut decided to step up and lead by example.

“Third quarter o second quarter, sabi ko basta kailangan gayahin ako ng mga teammates ko, so nagstart ako ng defense.”

It wasn’t just Caracut’s defensive leadership that helped anchor DLSU’s second-half run, he also proved to be a problem for Ateneo on the offensive side as well, as he dropped seven of his thirteen markers in that third frame that saw the defending champions outscore Ateneo, 26-8.

“Ginawa ko lang lahat para sa teammates ko and para sa community.” Caracut said. 

The DLSU community and the rest of the Green Archers can breathe a sigh of relief for now, but they’ll surely be expecting to see the same leadership and intensity again from Caracut in game three of the UAAP Finals on Sunday. 





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