Rugby trained La Salle's Taane Samuel to get physical in UAAP 81

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 11, 2018 08:39 PM
Rugby trained La Salle's Taane Samuel to get physical
Taane Samuel only promises to bring physicality for La Salle

Taane Samuel finally played a full game for De La Salle University in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

After missing 12 games due to a Jones fracture on his left foot, the Kiwi big man contributed eight points and three rebounds in the Green Archers’ 62-71 loss to archrival Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday.

Of course, the first-year player acknowledged that it was pretty difficult to have his return come at a rivalry game. “It was tough, it was definitely tough especially since it’s an Ateneo-La Salle game,” he told reporters post-game.

That was even truer as, apparently, he only found out that he was getting back into action just a day before the game itself. “I actually only got told yesterday that I was actually gonna play. Before that, I was just told I’m gonna be running and jogging,” he shared.

He then continued, “I’m just really happy to be playing again.”

Indeed, it was very much evident that Samuel was overjoyed to be taking the floor once more as he already had four points and three rebounds in just the first half.

That, as well as some up close and personal moments with La Salle players.

Asked about it after game, the 6-foot-8 center answered, “It’s just banter. It’s just in the game. Whatever happens on the court stays on the court.”

He then continued, “I have a lot of respect to every player in every team. They’re just doing what they can do to win – just like what we’re doing.”

After all, physicality is just what Samuel promises to bring to the table. “I’m kind of used to the physicality, coming from a rugby background before basketball. If someone pushes, I’ll push back,” he said.

He then continued, “I mean, it’s nothing new to me. I’ll just keep matching and keep trying to play like how they play.”

The even better news is that the 19-year-old is he would only get better. “(Doctors) say it’s fully healed. My rehab is going well,” he said.

He then continued, “I’m not 100 percent yet, but after a couple of weeks, I’ll be good.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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