NCAA 95: 'Atin 'To' spirit lives on in giant-killing EAC

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 17, 2019 04:27 PM
NCAA 95: 'Atin 'To' spirit lives on in giant-killing EAC
Jethro Mendoza and EAC seized the moment when they pulled off the biggest upset thus far in NCAA 95

By the hands of Jethro Mendoza, it was proven that the window of opportunity is wide open in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Mendoza's layup with 1.5 ticks to go won the game for upstart Emilio Aguinaldo College last Friday - and not just any game, but one opposite title contender Lyceum of the Philippines University.

The graduating guard wound up with 21 points build on six triples.

His biggest contribution, though, was the fearless short stab that sank the Pirates while also sending a statement to the rest of the league that the Generals are pushovers no more.

For head coach Oliver Bunyi, there was nobody else who was going to take and make that shot. "Jethro, he's not a pure shooter e. He's more of a dead-shot siguro. Ganun siya," he shared with reporters in his maiden post-win interview in the first and oldest collegiate league in the country.

He then continued, "That's why I was telling them na even if Jethro will do, 0-of-10 in the first part (of the game), I still trust him for that shot."

As it turns out, however, aside from the full faith of his mentor, Mendoza summoned a now legendary statement as EAC was trying its best to hold off oncoming LPU. "Nag-huddle kami nung humahabol na sila tapos sabi lang namin, 'Atin 'to,'" he recalled.

He then continued, "Lalaban kami hanggang matapos kaya kahit nakakahabol sila, ginawa lang namin e mag-relax hanggang sa huli."

Without a doubt, channelling the two words made famous by the University of the Philippines icon Paul Desiderio worked wonders.

And in the end, the Generals indeed claimed the game from the Pirates for themselves.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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