De La Salle Green Archers guards Andrei Caracut and Aljun Melecio stepped up when it mattered most, delivering the goods for the defending champions in a crucial second-half surge in Game 2 of the UAAP men’s basketball finals at Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.
Caracut registered 13 points in arguably his best showing against the Ateneo Blue Eagles this season; Melecio chipped in 12.
Caracut said he embraced the role of a veteran, as La Salle rallied to stun Ateneo, 92-83.
“Iba ‘yung feeling na makita mo ‘yung teammates mo na down. Ayaw ko na may mawala sa amin pag matalo kami,” Caracut said. “Sabi ko, basta kailangan gayahin ako ng mga teammates ko. So start ako ng defense, ginawa ko lang lahat para sa teammates ko and sa community.”
Melecio attributed the Green Archers’ win to trusting the team system and one another despite being down by as many as 21 points early in the game.
“Sabi ni coach na stick to the system lang, darating din yung pace natin. Sabi niya, makukuha din natin ‘yan,” said Melecio.
True enough, Melecio and the Green Archers found a rhythm that enabled them to outscore Ateneo 26-8 in the third quarter to force a Game 3 on Sunday.
Caracut said that, while his team had a sluggish start, he never lost confidence in his teammates.
“First quarter pa naman ‘yung lamang nila, so sabi ko, haba pa ng oras. ‘Yung tiwala ko sa teammates ko, hindi talaga mawawala. Kaya siguro nanalo kami dito,” told Caracut.
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