UAAP: Isaac Go out to remind everybody he’s still here for Ateneo
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 01, 2019 05:29 PM
Ateneo’s Isaac Go is well aware that he wasn’t himself in last year’s UAAP.
Ateneo de Manila University hurdled several obstacles to win its first title in the Philippine Colelgiate Champions League since 2010.
First, the Blue Eagles had to overcome being down 0-1 to San Beda University in their best-of-three semifinals series.
Second, they also had to overcome the fact that they were never at full-strength – with the likes of team captain Mike Nieto and court general Matt Nieto as well as Ivorian tower Ange Kouame being absent in games, or late, due to class.
Through it all, though, the UAAP champions persevered – and the broad shoulders of Isaac Go were to thank for much of it.
It was Go who shot them over the Red Lions in the must-win Game 2 before yet again being a key cog in the knockout Game 3. Through that semis series, he averaged 10.0 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Then in the winner-take-all Finals up against Cebu powerhouse University of the Visayas, the sweet-shooting big man starred once more with 15 points and three rebounds.
Without a doubt, Go did nothing but deserve the tournament MVP he hoisted at the end of it all.
And without a doubt, he did nothing but remind everybody just how good he is. “It’s a challenge now to tell coach to play me. I wanna show coach that even if we have Ange, I won’t take a step back which I think whas what happened to me last year,” he said.
Indeed, in last year’s UAAP 81, the Gilas cadet only averaged 5.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14.4 minutes of action.
This was a far cry from his norms of 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 15.7 minutes in UAAP 80.
Of course, Ateneo had the luxury of unleashing eventual Rookie of the Year Kouame.
Make no mistake, however, Go has got nothing but love for their rookie recruit. “Last season, I didn’t play much. Actually, it’s not that I didn’t play much, but I felt I did not deserve the minutes,” he shared.
He then continued, “I undersaand coach’s decision because Ange was killing it.”
Nonetheless, the now 22-year-old is adamant that the Isaac Go that broke the hearts of Far Eastern University and then brought the pain to De La Salle University in the UAAP 80 is still there. “I felt that last year, that wasn’t me,” he said.
Don’t expect him to be forcing his way back to those heights, though.
In the end, Go vowed that he will, and will always, do whatever is best for the Blue Eagles. “Of course, I’ll take a step back if it’s for the team, but I can’t just step back without showing that I deserve that spot,” he said.
He then continued, “I just have to show coach that just because Ange is here, I’ll have to take a step back.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.