Twin towers Gozum, Bonifacio at forefront of Robins’ title defense
TALL TASK. Will Gozum (yellow jersey #19) and Warren Bonifacio (yellow jersey, below Gozum in photo) give Malayan more than a fighting chance to go back-to-back.
Arellano High School’s Aaron Fermin may be the most impactful player in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament, but the best big men belong to Malayan High School of Science.
And right from the start of each and every game, the Red Robins use their size advantage to the fullest.
Behind starting big men Will Gozum and Warren Bonifacio, the defending champions have muscled their way onto a 9-2 record – tops in the ultra-competitive tournament.
“May twin towers kasi kami,” head coach Randy Alcantara shared. “Siyempre, gagamitin namin yun para sa amin.”
With combined per game counts of 24.5 points, 19.9 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks, Malayan’s twin towers have accounted for 29 percent of their team’s points, 40 percent of their team’s rebounds, and 82 percent of their team’s blocks.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Gozum’s averages are 13.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks while Bonifacio’s averages are 10.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks.)
While they are seen as the Red Robins’ advantage, both big men are also aware that they have even more pressure to perform because of that. “Malaking advantage nga sa amin na twin towers kami, pero kailangan naming lalo magtrabaho kasi nga gusto naming maka-back-to-back. Kaya lagi lang sinasabi sa amin ni coach, kumpyansa lang lagi,” the six-foot-three Bonifacio said.
And with an ultra-competitive tournament wherein eight of the 10 teams have a realistic shot at the playoffs, the twin towers know they have to stand strong for their team to defend their title. “Sobrang hirap ngaoyn kasi lahat sila, gusto kaming talunin. Kaya kahit sino, hindi namin inu-undersestimate,” Bonifacio, also the captain, said.
Gozum, who is listed at six-foot-four, seconded the statement. “Malaking adjustment para sa amin kasi kami na ang champion. Pero mas gusto pa rin naming mag-back-to-back,” he said.
Fortunately for the red and yellow, their twin towers are nothing but determined to do the work and do their job. “Hard work pa rin kami kahit anong mangyari,” Gozum expressed.
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