Good move for once Archer-commit, now champion Eagle Troy Mallillin
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 09, 2017 05:14 PM
Troy Mallillin will be one of the players to watch when Ateneo begins its title defense
Troy Mallillin’s rookie year wasn’t exactly memorable.
Kept under wraps for all of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament, he didn’t exactly make an immediate impact.
This is even truer as versatile forward Mallillin was fresh off an MVP season in the NCAA Juniors that saw him average 19.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, and one assist.
This season, he only appeared in four games and had per game counts of 1.4 points in four minutes.
Still, Mallillin is one with the Blue Eagles in celebrating their well-earned championship. “Sobrang saya. Sobrang saya lang po talaga,” he expressed right afer the winner-take-all Game 3 last Sunday.
And to think that he almost was at the losing side.
The six-foot-three Mallillin initially committed to De La Salle University before backing out and deciding to go to Katipunan instead.
Looking back now, he has no doubt that he made the right decision. “Hindi naman dahil ayaw ko sa La Salle. Choice ko lang talaga,” he shared.
He then continued, “Pero at least, ngayon, nakaranas din ako ng championship.”
Now Mallillin has had a taste of a big league championship, he only wants much more.
And he will just keep doing his thing to help Ateneo go back-to-back. “Magsisipag lang po ako. Ipapakita ko lang yung sipag ko,” he said.
He then continued, “Basta makikinig lang ako sa coaches at gagawin ko lang yung sinasabi nila para maabot ulit yung championship.”
After all, it wasn’t until his third and final season with College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills when former NCAA Juniors MVP Mallillin broke out.
And in fact, for coach Tab Baldwin, his breakout in the UAAP Seniors will come sooner than later. “Unlike last year when he joined us late, he now has a full season with us. I’m not expecting him to take a step backward,” he said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.