Before being a Cardinal, Menina was never a good shooter
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 13, 2016 08:41 PM
DEVELOPMENTAL TALENT. Darrel Menina said he only learned how to shoot consistently when he got to Mapua two years ago.
Darell Menina was once again the thorn on the side of Colegio de San Juan de Letran on Tuesday.
Only this time, his big baskets not only completed Mapua Institute of Technology’s season-sweep of their Intramuros neighbors, it also put an early end to the reign of the Knights.
Reacting to his 12-point performance, eight of which came in the final frame, the Cebuano told reporters, “Tsamba lang talaga yun.”
Squandering a once 15-point lead and finding themselves knotted with Letran, it was Menina who had the answer for the Cardinals and outscored their opponents by his lonesome, 8-5, the rest of the way.
Back in the first round, it was also the second-year player who proved clutch up against the now-defending champions in pouring in 12 of his 17 points in the final frame.
Now in his sophomore season, Menina has become very much comfortable in being Mapua’s microwave off the bench. His nine-point average comes in 40.9 percent shooting, but there is yet to be a counter of the big-time baskets he has made in the endgame against not only the Knights, but also the rest of the league.
As it turns out, however, the Cardinals’ own “Captain Clutch” wasn’t always, well, “Captain Clutch.” Asked how he works on his shooting, he answered while chuckling, “Nag-double time ako sa shooting kahit hindi ako shooter.”
With reporters taken aback by his statement, after seeing countless clutch baskets from him this season, Menina stressed again, “Hindi ako shooter. Ang shooter namin, si Almel (Orquina) at si (Exe) Biteng, pero sabi ni coach (Atoy Co), practice mo shooting para kung ‘di sila gumana, ikaw na titira.”
The softspoken Mapua player then went on to say that back in the University of Cebu, he was more of a prototypical point guard. As he put it, “Playmaker ako tapos tira lang paminsan-minsan.”
Now in Intramuros, however, Menina shared he worked, and is still working, his hardest to round out his game, “Double time ako sa practice, double time ako sa laro. Tapos siyempre, tiwala sa Diyos.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.