NCAA 95: Fran Yu has gone from not ready to all ready for Letran
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 08, 2019 07:23 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
The Fran Yu that played in Colegio de San Juan de Letran's do-or-die game against Lyceum of the Philippines University, Friday at Cuneta Astrodome was not the Fran Yu that played in the Knights' semifinals loss to the Pirates a year ago.
Last season, Yu was, all of a sudden, thrown into the fire after starting point guard JP Calvo went down with an leg injury.
And then, the 5-foot-10 playmaker looked out of place inside their opponents' pressure cooker.
In fact, with him and Bonbon Batiller taking turns trying to replace Calvo in the second half, Letran saw LPU go on a 15-0 tear to turn a one-point deficit into a 70-56 advantage - and in all, the former got dominated by the latter by a score of 38-58.
Fast forward to now and the script has flipped.
Yu turned in his most complete game in blue and red with 20 points, six assists, and five rebounds and was, without a doubt, the biggest thorn on the side of the Pirates as the Knights pulled off a well-earned win.
The difference between this year and last? The 21-year-old was nothing but ready to take charge.
"Hindi ako ready nun e kasi 'di ko rin alam na mai-injure si JP. Bumigay kami nun," he shared. "Ngayon, kailangang mag-step up kasi si Tommy [Olivario] may injury tapos rookie pa lang si [Kurt] Reyson. Kaya kailangang trabago lang talaga."
This time around, it was Letran's reserve point guards who weren't at full strength.
But their starting point guard most definitely was.
For that, Yu has first-year head coach Bonnie Tan. "Unang practice pa lang ni coach Bonnie sa amin, nag-practice kami agad ng press break," the former said.
He then continued, "Tapos sa practice, tira lang. Pag pumasok, swerte. Pag sablay, depensa agad."
Even better for the Knights, their now-capable and confident lead guard has no doubt that he will only keep this up in the Finals. "Pinaghirapan namin ito, nandito na kami sa dulo so bakbakan na 'to," he said.
He then continued, "Para 'to sa seniors namin para maganda ang puntahan nila pagkatapos at para 'di rin nila kami makalimutan."
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.