MANILA, Philippines – Andoy Estrella’s first game in front of his classmates and schoolmates at the Mapua Gym did not exactly go as planned, and the veteran Cardinal guard now wants a do-over.
Estrella and the rest of the Cardinals bowed to the visiting Perpetual Altas last Thursday, after Estrella committed a turnover with 16 seconds left, and then missed a three-pointer that could have tied the game.
“Paubos na rin kasi ‘yung oras. ‘Yun lang ang naisip ko, itira ko na lang talaga. Eh sumablay,” said Estrella, who has already hit one game-winner in the NCAA Season 93 tournament against the Letran Knights.
[Time was running out, so I just shot it. Unfortunately, I missed.]
On their home floor, however, his three-pointer went halfway down the net before swirling out, much to the agony of the fans that packed the Mapua Gym.
Estrella finished with 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting on top of four rebounds, four assists, and four turnovers in the loss.
Though the result was not in their favor, the veteran was still awed by the experience of playing at home.
“Sobrang saya,” said Estrella. “Nakakataas ng balahibo nga kapag sumisigaw sila.”
[I had a great team. I got goosebumps every time they started shouting and cheering.]
Of course, he is very much open to the idea of playing on their home court again, hopefully with a different result.
“Last year ko na,” he pointed out. “Sana, maulit.”
[It’s my last year so I hope I can play here again.]
In the meantime, Estrella is hopeful that their fans can keep supporting the Cardinals even after they dropped to 1-2 in the men’s basketball tournament.
“Sana, kahit natalo kami, sana suportahan pa rin nila kami,” he said. “Sana kahit hindi dito ‘yung game, sana manood sila sa mga game namin sa Arena.”
[I hope they keep supporting us despite this loss. Hopefully, they can come and watch our games in San Juan.]
Estrella and the rest of the Cardinals return to action on Tuesday, July 25 against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
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