Chris Javier: The glue that keeps the UE Red Warriors together
Paul Lintag on Aug 03, 2015 01:41 PM
"Sabi nga nila di ba ‘no pain, no gain.’" - Chris Javier.
Chris Javier burst into UAAP headlines when he nailed the game-winner over then four-time defending champion Ateneo in Season 75.
He was just a sophomore then and the UE Red Warriors were still in the middle of a rebuild.
And just to put Javier’s heroics in perspective, his shot in 2012 was one of the few hiccups the Blue Eagles suffered that year as they steamrolled their way to a fifth straight title.
Fast-forward to 2015, after a couple of Final Four near-misses to a rejuvenated UE program, Javier, now on his last playing year, is ready to assume the leadership role for a Red Warriors team searching for a new identity.
“It’s a blessing na bibigyan ulit ako ni God ng opportunity na i-prove yung sarili ko kaya I put extra time and effort,” Javier told ABS-CBN Sports as he moves to a bigger role in Season 78 with the departure of star point guard Roi Sumang, Charles Mammie, Moustapha Arafat and Gino Jumao-as.
However, don’t expect Javier to suddenly play hero-ball this year though, it’s not his style and personality.
Ever the team player, Javier is there to do what the coach Derrick Pumaren wants him to do on the floor, all while setting a great example for the rest of the Red Warriors, particularly their new set of rookies, off of it.
“As a senior kailangan maging example ako, lalo na sa mga rookies, kasi sila kailangan pa nila ng guidance eh,” Javier said. “Kung ano naman sasabihin ni coach na role ko gagawin ko, bigyan lang ako ng chance I will do it.”
After two seasons of narrowly missing the playoffs despite a line-up that could go all the way to the finals on paper, Javier said the Red Warriors are going to go back to their roots and do with what they have in hopes of finally scoring the breakthrough the UE community has been wanting for years now.
So expect a mean pressing defense from this gutsy squad for Season 78, lots of it.
“Siguro dahil mas limited kami this year, we are on the same page. UE naman bread and butter nila yung press, so yung magiging identity talaga naming will be a pressing team,” Javier said.
With last year’s heartbreaking defeat to eventual champion NU Bulldogs still fresh on their minds, the Red Warriors are raring to finally make the Final Four this year to ease the disappointment the entire UE community felt after heightened expectations due to them being hosts.
And Javier will be the glue that will hold his entire team together.
He’s pretty aware it will not be easy, but he’s up for it.
“Hard talaga, it’s very hard. Training is hard, pero sabi nga nila di ba ‘no pain, no gain.’"
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