Daquioag's Player of the Week nod caps off UST's perfect week
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 14, 2015 11:28 AM
TOP TIGER. Ed Daquioag and UST are on top of the UAAP.
HIS new role to provide the needed scoring punch for University of Santo Tomas is suiting veteran guard Ed Daquioag just fine.
The 6-foot Daquioag has emerged as the biggest revelation so far, powering the Growling Tigers to three straight victories and the solo lead in the UAAP Season 78 men's basketball tournament.
More known as a solid defender in his first three years in the country's premier collegiate league, Daquioag, 24, proved he can also deliver the goods, enabling UST to enjoy its best start since 1999 when another Growling Tigers squad won their first 10 matches.
“I used to be one of the top defenders of the team before. But right now, we need to have some scorers so I just grabbed the opportunity given to me by coach (Bong dela Cruz),” said Daquioag, who was named as the hands-down choice for the first ACCEL Quantum/3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week award this season.
The rebuilding Adamson Falcons initially bore the brunt of Daquioag's offensive machine, with the Dingras, Ilocos Norte native firing away a career-high of 28 points while leading the Growling Tigers to an opening-day 70-64 win last Sept. 5 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Four days after, Daquioag continued his brilliance at the expense of title favorite Far Eastern U, banging in 12 of his game-best 18 points in the payoff canto, on their way to a dramatic 72-71 victory also at the Big Dome.
Not even a mild right ankle sprain he suffered early in the third canto could stop Daquioag from making the damage against host University of the Philippines last Sunday infront of 11,705 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In that match-up between two unbeaten squads, Daquioag proved to be the biggest difference in the pivotal canto where he fired 17 of his game-high 27 markers, most of them off daring drives in the lane, while steering the Tigers to a 67-59 victory over the Fighting Maroons.
Dela Cruz, 44, was among those left impressed with Daquioag's exploits. "Ed’s confidence is very high and he’s enjoying the game," he said.
Daquioag edged out his fellow Growling Tiger Kevin Ferrer, the Maroons comebacking pair of Paul Desiderio and Jett Manuel, and the Tamaraws' potent duo of Mike Tolomia and Mac Belo for the weekly citation given by sports scribes from national dailies and online portals.