‘Dennis Rodman’ Ayaay doing the hustle for LPU
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 19, 2016 07:39 PM
I WANNA BE LIKE DENNIS. Jesper Ayaay's basketball idol is a little bit uncommon.
Standing only six-foot-one, undersized is an understatement for Jesper Ayaay who mans the frontcourt for Lyceum of the Philippines University.
With injuries to Joseph Gabayni and Jebb Bulawan, coach Topex Robinson was forced to use as a forward the second-year player who always played as a guard. Asked about his mindset each time he takes the floor knowing he will have to bang bodies with the likes of Allwell Oraeme and Bright Akhuetie, he said, “Basta ako, laban lang nasa isip ko.”
Indeed, Ayaay has fought the good fight and is averaging an impressive 10 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists as a so-called big man for the Pirates.
Draymond Green may be the poster boy for the modern do-it-all big man, but it’s apparently an old-school undersized forward who serves as the inspiration for the six-foot-one player. As he shared, “Idol ko si Dennis Rodman.”
He then continued, “Lagi kong pinapanood before the game yung videos ng hustle niya. Yun yung kailangan namin e.”
That is exactly why Ayaay could often be found all over the court, trying to make things happen for LPU – much like how Rodman once energized Chicago to a three-peat in the NBA.
Also much like “The Worm” who could have for himself surprise offensive outbursts, the Pirates’ so-called big man played his best game in last Thursday’s triumph over defending champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran. Then, he scored 16 points, including 10 of his team’s last 15 points as well as the game-winner.
Asked about his career-game, he said, “Tine-take advantage ko lang talaga yung opportunity kasi minsan lang ‘to. Paano kung mawala?”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.