ONCE STARS, NOW ROLE PLAYERS: Sacrifice moves DLSU one win away from title

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 05, 2016 08:38 PM
Sacrifice moves DLSU one win away from title
NO I IN TEAM. Fully-loaded with blue-chip recruits, each and every DLSU Green Archer has a role he is proud of.

Aldin Ayo was far from a picture of satisfaction after De La Salle University booked a berth in the Finals.

“Nakaka-bad trip, talagang I was disappointed with how we played in the first half. Even in the third and early part of the fourth quarter, we were not playing our game,” he expressed then.

This, after the Green Archers were pushed to the limit by a very game Adamson University.

Come Game 1 of the Finals against Ateneo de Manila University, however, Ayo was nothing but satisfied.

This, even though DLSU only won against their archrivals by two points. In comparison, they defeated the Soaring Falcons in the semifinals by five points.

Still, the fiery mentor said, “Yung mga bata talaga, gustong manalo. They’re gonna do whatever it takes.”

Once questioning why his players change their game when cameras are rolling, Ayo saw exactly what he wanted to see from his boys as they played in their biggest game yet. “The mere fact na pumasa and na-execute yung plays, maganda yun,” he said.

“Kasi puro star ‘to e. Nung high school, sila ang pinapasahan tapos all of a sudden, dumating yun sistema namin na kailangang maging role player and you have to do this first,” he then continued. “’Di ganun kaadali sumuko sa ganitong sistema.”

Indeed, from Jeron Teng to Ben Mbala and from Kib Montalbo and Aljun Melecio, many of these Green Archers were blue-chip recruits.

In fact, only Filipino-Americans Jason Perkins, Julian Sargent, and Abu Tratter can be considered not highly-touted prospects before they moved to Taft Avenue.

Now, however, no task is too menial for these once stars. “Good thing na ang mga players na ‘to, nagsasakripisyo. Feeling nilang kailangang umiskor, pero andami nang scorer e so nagse-set sila ng play, nagse-set sila ng screens,” he said.

He then continued, “Wala kaming role players, pero lahat sila, lahat yun, ginagawa nila.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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