Bantayan’s selfless act gets Perpetual by San Beda

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 11, 2015 05:50 PM
Bantayan’s selfless act gets Perpetual by San Beda
WILLIING AND ABLE. Nestor Bantayan is always ready to step up when Scottie Thompson and Bright Akhuetie need him. (Photo courtesy of Kenneth Natividad)

Only averaging seven minutes through 13 games in the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament, it would have been understandable if Nestor Bantayan opted to make a name for himself when he got the ball in the decisive possession of the matchup between University of Perpetual Help and San Beda College.

Instead, the seldom-used forward chose the wiser play even if it meant taking away what would have been a game-winner for him.

With the game last Friday at the San Juan Arena knotted at 86 with less than 20 seconds remaining, the Altas of course had Scottie Thompson making the play, but the Red Lions’ tight defense forced him to lose possession. Fortunately for Perpetual, Bantayan was at the right place to recover the ball and send the ball to Bright Akhuetie at the right time for a buzzer-beating game-winner.

While he also had a good look when he got hold of the ball, Bantayan shared with ABS-CBN Sports that he was never a player who thinks of himself first. “Hindi ko pa rin inisip yung tira kahit yung oras gipit na. ang inisip ko, tabla naman at mas libre pa rin yung nasa ilalim,” he said.

He then repeated, “’Di ko pa rin talaga inisip yung sarili ko. Mas maganda ang nangyayari kapag team talaga.”

Still, the third-year Alta did not miss out on much praise for his game-winning assist. Talking about how it felt to make the decisive play, he said, “Sobrang sarap kasi huli na ako binunot. Gusto namin kasi talaga manalo.”

And was that some sort of statement telling the Perpetual coaching staff that he’s ready for more responsibility? “Ganun naman talaga kami lahat. Anytime tawagin, ready. Paghihirapan namin talaga lahat,” he said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.


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