Is Daquioag now the King Tiger?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 13, 2015 06:15 PM
Is Daquioag now the King Tiger?
LEADING MAN. Ed Daquioag has emerged as UST's go-to scorer.

From out of nowhere, Ed Daquioag has come out and blazed his way into becoming one of the leading scorers in the 78th Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Pouring in 24.3 points through three games which all ended as wins, the veteran forward has emerged as University of Sto. Tomas’ go-to-guy in the clutch. Not assumed King Growling Tiger Kevin Ferrer, not longtime stalwart Karim Abdul, but the player who was once known for his man-to-man defense.

Head coach Bong Dela Cruz said as much after Daquioag led the Espana-based squad to 3-0 and solo first on Sunday at the MOA Arena. “Last year pa lang, nasa isip ko nang si Ed ang magdadala ng team,” he said.

Dela Cruz was quick to add, “Kasama si Kevin,” but the mere fact Daquioag was mentioned alongside the assumed King Tiger is a validation of how far he has come.

The rise of the Ilocos Norte native became more evident when the UST faithful began showering him with “MVP! MVP! MVP!” chants. Asked how it felt to receive much love, he told ABS-CBN Sports, “Overwhelming kasi ‘di ko naman in-expect na ganun sasabihin nila.”

While surprised with the chants, Daquioag shared he has long been preparing for his new role as the Tigers’ go-to scorer. “Dati, nandyan yung Jeric Teng, Jeric Fortuna, Aljon Mariano, pati si Kevin so iba yung role ko, defensive,” he said.

He then continued, “Ngayong marami nang nawala sa amin, ni-grab ko lang yung opportunity na binigay ni coach.”

But does all of this mean UST is now his team? The rising star clarified, “Siyempre iba yung role ni Kevin, which is to lead. Siya pa rin naman yung King Tiger. Ginagawa ko lang anong binibigay sa akin ni coach.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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