Jaycee Marcelino fouled out of the game still with six minutes to go in Lyceum of the Philippines University’s matchup with College of St. Benilde on Friday.
And yet, the Pirates weren’t sweating about losing their lead guard even though the young Blazers kept coming.
That’s because they still had Reymar Caduyac who only took over the ballhandling and playmaking duties.
The third-year guard has always stood under the shadows of the likes of Marcelino, MJ Ayaay, Mike Nzeusseu, and CJ Perez. His averages in the season are far from eye-popping at 5.5 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.0 rebounds – coming into the game against CSB.
And yet, whenever it matters most, he could always be found rounding out that fearsome foursome.
For head coach Topex Robinson, the reason is pretty simple. “It’s about trust – trusting he’s gonna make big shots, big decisions while also trusting he’s gonna mess up. It has to be a two-way street for us – for me to earn their trust, I have to do the same for them,” he said.
Without a doubt, Caduyac didn’t let Coach Topex down against the Blazers, scoring all but four of his 10 points in the last two minutes. He also totaled seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals.
In all, he doubled his points, assists, and rebounds averages in a game he was needed to come through because lead guard Marcelino fouled out.
Not bad at all for a player who only stands at 5-foot-11 and is, put frankly, looks like the opposite of athletic. “I call him ‘Speedy Bagal,’ but his timing is really super smart. What he lacks in physical ability as far as speed, he makes up by being smart,” coach Topex shared.
He then continued, “Wala ngang naniniwalang point guard siya cause he’s really slow, super slow.”
Perhaps, those contradictions – a point guard with a big body, a lead guard who is more deliberate than fast – make him easy to underestimate.
That will never be the case for LPU, though, and that’s all that matters. “CJ and Jaycee could easily get that ball from him in the endgame, but they trust him to make good decisions and more often than not, he makes good decisions,” their always amiable mentor said.
He then continued, “I have so much love for that kid. The future’s so bright for him. I’m sure he’s gonna be a blessing to our team.”
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