UAAP 82: Melecio tells La Salle to cherish yet another heartbreaking season
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 27, 2019 08:54 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
ANTIPOLO - For the first time since 1994, De La Salle University will be out of the semifinals for the second straight season.
This is some sort of history as ever since the Final Four had been instituted, the Green Archers have never missed it in back-to-back years.
Despite the heartbreak, though, the Taft-based team will only actually have more fuel to their already burning fire because of this.
"Masakit na 'di makaabot sa Final Four. Masakit," Aljun Melecio told reporters. "Pero sabi nga sa akin ni Coach Aldin [Ayo] na kung may masamang nangyari sayo, i-cherish mo lang yun tapos dun ka kumuha ng lakas ng loob. Yung mga struggles mo, magiging inspirasyon yun sayo."
In his first two years in La Salle, both of which were under the guidance of coach Aldin, Melecio experienced a championship and then a runner-up finish.
Since then, however, he and the Green Archers have found themselves just outside of the playoff picture.
Until the very last moments of their decisive game this season, they still had a fighting chance.
Down by two in the last 40 seconds, the green and white forced a defensive stop and had the ball in the hands of its veteran guard in Melecio.
Only, he stumbled as he started running over to their side of the court.
"'Di mo rin masasabi na mag-iiba kasi nandun naman si Kobe at si Ricci so alam naman nating grabe sila mag-block ng fastbreak," the fourth-year guard said. "Ni-try ko naman talaga na hindi madapa, pero nadapa talaga e."
Encho Serrano recovered the fumble, but he also rushed his shot that was contested by Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero and botched a fastbreak finish.
Final score, 71-68 in favor of UP.
With that, La Salle will have to wait to try and barge back into the semifinals. "Next season, every game counts talaga. As we saw this season, kahit isang game lang, malaking bagay e so yun yung naging lesson namin," Melecio said.
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