UAAP: Ateneo powered through La Salle's surprise of Taane Samuel
Danine Cruz on Nov 11, 2018 08:29 PM
"Whether or not he's gonna play, we're just ready." -- Isaac Go on Taane Samuel
De La Salle University's Taane Samuel only had five minutes of play in the UAAP Season 81 before he went down becaue of a Jones fracture that sidelined him until the Archers' penultimate game of the second round of the eliminations.
Samuel finally saw action in arguably the most awaited matchup in any UAAP Season -- Ateneo versus La Salle.
Considering that he was absent for almost the whole season, the Ateneo Blue Eagles shared that they only knew he was going to play minutes before tip-off.
"I mean we just really haven't had a scouting report from him in a long time. We played him last Filoil, we haven't seen him play and he's different," said big man Isaac Go.
"Hindi [namin alam]. Nalaman lang namin ngayon nung pagpasok niya sa dugout. [The coaches] just gave us some information of what we can do to try to stop him naman," added first-year player Will Navarro.
In Samuel's 17 minutes of play against Ateneo, he produced eight points and three rebounds.
Aside from that, he amped up the physicality and the wits of the match especially in the first half. It was something that fellow foreign student-athlete Angelo Kouame noticed.
"He’s a really good player. We all saw the way he put the ball in the ground. He’s a smart player so we had to play smart with him. He was really tough for us to defend," said Kouame.
But as it turned out, whether they were surprised by Samuel's presence or not, the Blue Eagles' can win regardless.
"We really didn't know if he was playing now. We heard a lot of rumors but whether or not he's gonna play, we're just ready," Go added after sweeping La Salle in the eliminations, 71-62.
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