Fearless Aljon Mariano comes up big in do-or-die game

Paul Lintag on Feb 07, 2017 11:12 PM
Fearless Aljon Mariano comes up big in do-or-die game
The former UST Growling Tiger's aggressiveness accounted for 20 points, eight rebounds, and one steal for Ginebra, keeeping the Gin Kings in the game all throughout the first half before handing the reigns to LA Tenorio in the second.

With Joe Devance out due to injury, Ginebra head coach Tim Cone was bound to pick another player to step up agains the Alaska Aces in their do-or-die quarterfinal matchup Tuesday at the Big Dome.

Cone ended up picking Aljon Mariano.

Mariano was ready, and he ended up giving a career performance to help tow the Gin Kings into the semifinals by beating the Aces, 108-97.

"Coming to the game, naging ready lang talaga ako kasi alam ko na bubunutin niya [Tim Cone] ako kasi wala si Joe eh," Mariano said.

"Sabi ko, be fearless lang, be fearless, be aggressive lang. Paulit-ulit ko sinasabi, coming into the game, maging aggressive ka lang at lumabas naman sa game ko," he added.

The former UST Growling Tiger's aggressiveness accounted for 20 points, eight rebounds, and one steal for Ginebra, keeeping the Gin Kings in the game all throughout the first half before handing the reigns to LA Tenorio in the second.

"Sobrang masaya ako kasi sobrang total team effort talaga ang laro namin. Nakita mo naman sa game na lahat nagha-hustle talaga, at tinapatan talaga namin yung energy ng kalaban," Mariano said.

Looking ahead at a highly-anticipated semifinal matchup with rival Star, Mariano is in no pressure to deliver the same kind of numbers every night. He's prefectly fine in filling in the energy gap for the Gin Kings if needed.

"Hindi naman ako nape-pressure, kasi alam ko naman yung role na binibigay sa akin ni Coach Tim. Di ko naman kailangan umiskor ng 20 lagi, 15, ganyan. Basta mabigay ko lang yung hustle and aggressiveness na hinihingi sa akin ni Coach Tim," he said.


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