No doubt about it, RK Ilagan gave his all for Baste in NCAA 95
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 05, 2019 07:35 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
RK Ilagan was putting Colegio de San Juan de Letran under siege until the dying moments, Tuesday at Cuneta Astrodome.
Ilagan and San Sebastian College-Recoletos ultimately fell short, but with their gallant stand, they only earned the respect of their opponents.
"Matagal ko nang kilala yang si RK kasi parehong Manila boys kami nyan," Knights' captain Jerrick Balanza said. "Kilala ko yan na gagawin lahat, ibubuhos lahat. Ginawa rin naman namin lahat para pigilan siya, pero wala e - RK is RK."
Indeed, behind the pint-sized playmaker's 36-point explosion, with 13 coming in the final frame, the fourth-seeded Golden Stags were well within striking distance of the third-seeded Knights in the endgame.
Several of his shots were just unbelievable - none more so than his personal run that turned a 66-77 deficit into just 71-77.
Another one of those came inside the last two minutes as he banked in a booming triple to pull Baste within one.
Unfortunately, all the heavy lifting did damage on Ilagan's lower body - so much so that he had to come out of the contest due to cramps with under a minute left.
It was there that Letran finished the job once and for all.
And it was there that San Sebastian's campaign came to a close.
Of course, if he had his way, the fourth-year guard would have wanted to play through the pain. As he put it, "Sa akin lang, dapat pinush ko pa, pinilit ko pa."
He then continued, "Kaya lang, pagod na rin talaga e."
Still, Ilagan has no doubt that the Golden Stags will only be better because of this. "Sobrang sakit kasi yung dalawang beterano ko, gusto ko silang ibawi na makaabot kami sa Finals kaya lang we fell short," he said, talking about graduating teammates Allyn Bulanadi and Alvin Capobres.
He then continued, "Pero ngayon, magkakaroon lang kami ng one-week rest tapos preparation na for next season."
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