UAAP 81 Football: With defenses focused on him, Jarvey Gayoso embraces change in style of play
Santino Honasan on Mar 08, 2019 12:44 PM
MARKED MAN. With the defensive focus more locked in on Jarvey Gayoso, the fourth-year striker is embracing the idea of becoming a playmaker for his other teammates. (FILE PHOTO)
For the last three seasons, Ateneo de Manila striker Jarvey Gayoso has established himself as the most potent offensive weapon in the UAAP Men's Football Tournament, and his three consecutive Best Striker trophies certainly back that up.
In his fourth season however, it took Gayoso quite a while to get on the board, and it wasn't until the Blue Eagles' fourth game that he got on the board, scoring a brace in their 5-0 win over UST.
The two-goal performance was definitely a welcome sight for Gayoso, who can now breathe a sigh of relief after having gone through a slump, so to say.
"I’m grateful that those two goals were God-given as well, it’s a lesson for me, after the three games that I wasn’t scoring," Gayoso told ABS-CBN Sports. "I think also my mentality has changed, but at the same time, I had to be hungry for scoring. It’s like all the other teams prepared for me, and it was really difficult for me as well, and on my part, my mentality towards the games kind of got to me, that’s why I wasn’t able to convert."
"It’s a good thing that I was able to find my kick, find my base and I was able to contribute to the team," he continued.
Gayoso touched on how he felt that he was a marked man for the opposing team's defenses, and that isn't really surprising, given his proficiency for putting the ball through the goal.
But after three scoreless games, the question that began to surface was if teams had finally figured out how to stop arguably one of the best scorers that UAAP football has ever seen. After three seasons of running rampant through defenses, have people finally figured out how to stop Jarvey Gayoso?
While his brace against UST isn't helping back that question up, Gayoso himself isn't shying away from the possibility that maybe teams have finally found a blueprint to suppress his offense.
While others may shrug that notion off, Gayoso admits that he has reached out and asked for help with regards to being a defensive target.
"I’ve spoken to a lot of people about that also, I’ve asked for help, I’ve asked for opinions" he shared. When you’re a marked man, everybody tells me that it gives me an opportunity to create space for other people, and it creates opportunity for other people to score, and I take nothing against it."
When everyone on the defensive end has eyes on you, it's likely that there are others who aren't getting as much attention, which will leave them open to make plays, and that is what Jarvey says will be another facet of his game that he will work on.
In the past seasons, Gayoso has shown the ability and the willingness to become a playmaker, and now with defenses looking to shut him down even more, he welcomes the transition from high-volume scorer to facilitator.
"I like the way that people think I’m someone to be marked, so I’ll take it as a positive and work on my game from there. I’m pretty sure not everyone is going to take me lightly, I’m pretty sure not everyone is going to take the defenders lightly or the strikers lightly, and everybody else on the wing, nobody’s going to be taken lightly in this tournament, especially now that everybody’s close to each other in the standings. I just have to find my way to create space and find a way to run. My off-the-ball movement is something I can work on and one thing I should be focused on, in order to give chance to others."
In the collegiate ranks, Gayoso is used to being the man on offense, but his stints on the international level with the youth teams and with the Azkals themselves have helped him adjust to becoming the person who starts or continues the play, instead of being the one on the finishing end.
"With all the experience I’ve had playing for the national teams and playing with the Azkals, I’ve always found myself looking up and looking for the open man rather than dribbling all the way, so I think that influences the way that I’ve played and i think it will help me especially now that everybody’s marking me."
While it's not likely that Gayoso completely transitions into a playmaker instead of a scorer, the fact that he is embracing the change should be something for the other teams in the league to look out for.