Mapua's CJ Isit: Iím just trying to bring out the best in my teammates
Santino Honasan on Jun 22, 2016 06:34 PM
ďIím just trying to lead by example, be aggressive on offense and on defense, be grinding and gritty.Ē - CJ Isit
In Season 91, the Mapua Cardinals broke in to the Final Four once again after missing out during the previous five seasons, and while a lot of it can be attributed to stats machine, reigning Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Allwell Oraeme, there were a couple more cogs that helped push the Cardinals to their best finish since 2001.
Among those cogs were second leading scorer and team captain Josan Nimes, as well as playmaker Andretti Stevens, whose season was cut short due to injury.
Nimes and Stevens, two of the Cardinals’ leaders last season won’t be back for Season 92, which means that taking over the role of team captain will be senior CJ Isit, who’s more than ready for the task.
“I’m just trying to lead by example, be aggressive on offense and on defense, be grinding and gritty.” Isit told ABS-CBN Sports. “I’m just trying to bring out the best in my teammates and put us in the best position to succeed.”
Playing without their second offensive option from the previous season, Isit knows that guys will have to fill the spots left behind by the likes of Nimes, Stevens, and JP Nieles, who won’t be around due to injury.
“We just challenge each other to step up, and play bigger roles. It just leaves opportunities for guys to play a bigger role. It’s just about playing team basketball and being selfless.”
Of course, with departures come arrivals and returnees, and Isit named a couple of guys that are back and are set to contribute to the Cardinals’ hunt for another Final Four berth.
“We got a couple of guys back who played on Team B last year in Joseph Eriobu and Andrew Estrella, who are gonna come in and help out.”
Arguably the biggest storyline surrounding Mapua this season however, will be how reigning MVP Allwell Oraeme tops his stellar Season 91 campaign. Isit says that the Nigerian bigman hasn’t lost a step and is working as hard as ever towards the ultimate goal: an NCAA title.
“Aside from all of the accolades that he won last year, he’s still working. He doesn’t really see those individual awards as the main goal.”
For Isit, Allwell, and the rest of the Mapua Cardinals, it’s pretty simple, really.
“This year, our aim is to win the championship. “