UAAP: Morning chest pain, evening heartbreak for Juan GDL

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 26, 2018 07:48 PM
UAAP: Morning chest pain, evening heartbreak for Juan GDL
Juan GDL played through pain, but it still wasn't enough to get UP out of its slump

The University of the Philippines was 5.7 ticks away from taking down erstwhile perfect Adamson University on Wednesday.

It wasn’t meant to be, however, as Sean Manganti’s game-winner kept the Soaring Falcons undefeated and kept the Fighting Maroons reeling with their third loss in a row.

The heartbreak was nothing but evident in the eyes of Jun Manzo and Juan Gomez de Liano who were both teary-eyed post-game.

Asked about it afterward, Juan GDL answered, “It wasn’t enough. I really did my best for the team.”

Indeed, the second-year standout topped the scoring column for State U with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and two assists.

However, he also missed a free throw in the last two minutes that would have changed the complexion of the contest.

Clinging onto a two-point lead in the endgame, Juan GDL was sent to the line where he split his shots.

In the ensuing possession, Jonathan Espeleta buried a corner triple to give the Soaring Falcons a one-point lead.

The two teams would trade go-ahead baskets from that point, with Manganti’s proving to be the game-winner.

If only the Fighting Maroons’ star guard made both of his bonuses, however, Manganti wouldn’t have had a game-winner and only an overtime-forcing basket. “Yeah. It was a big factor in the loss. Free throws should be an easy bucket, kaya nga free e,” he lamented.

He then continued, “I was surprised I missed. So sad.”

All things considered, however, Juan GDL really did his best for State U – especially after sustaining an injury to his chest a night ago. “I wasn’t supposed to play because I got hit on the chest during practice. Super sakit, mga 8 out of 10 yung pain,” he shared.

Without a doubt, that wasn’t going to keep him out of a must-win game. “I really wanted to help my teammates so I played through pain talaga. Our PT knows how bad it was, but I played the whole game and I’m just glad I did,” he said.

In the end, however, Juan GDL’s 37 minutes on the floor weren’t enough.

Thanks to Adamson and Manganti, the pain from his chest has only gotten through to the heart.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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