Subido sees redemption in 'first' Finals stint
Mark Escarlote on Nov 14, 2019 07:01 AM
Naging part ako dun sa laging talo ang UST team. I just told myself na ‘I don’t want to be a part of that anymore’ -- Renzo Subido (photo courtesy of Arvin Lim)
Renzo Subido came into University of Sto. Tomas’ do-or-die stepladder semifinals match Wednesday with just one thing in mind: this will not be his last day wearing the Tigers uniform.
He remembered that year when he went down with a knee injury. Then that time when he and the rest of the Tigers had to endure a humiliating three-win season.
And also that season when he skipped the tournament entirely.
All those adversities and challenges served as fuel for the graduating guard.
Then his biggest moment in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament semis came late in the match against the twice-to-beat University of the Philippines.
Subido sank the go-ahead trey over the outstretched arm of Bright Akhuetie with 23.6 seconds left that powered the Tigers to a 68-65 escape over the Fighting Maroons to advance to the Finals against grandslam-seeking Ateneo de Manila University.
Looking back, his heroics and UST’s incredible upset washed away the stains of a painful past.
“Of course may pressure naman pero marami na kaming napagdaanan. I’ve experienced yung pinaka-down ng team,” he said. “Naging part ako dun sa laging talo ang UST team. I just told myself na ‘I don’t want to be a part of that anymore’.”
Subido towed the Tigers back into the championship round for the first time since Season 78 in 2015 – a year that he can only remember from the sidelines.
The 5-foot-8 guard was on his second year when he went down with an ACL injury around the same time when UST fell to eventual champion Far Eastern University in the Finals that went the full distance.
“Worst moment? Probably when I suffered with an ACL injury tapos I really got a hard time getting back to my old shape. Right now I’m just grateful and blessed na I’m back,” said Subido.
Subido returned the following year, but with the Tigers reeling from the departure of Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul and Ed Daquioag, UST only managed to win three games under then new coach Boy Sablan. He then skipped Season 80 – a year that saw the Tigers finish with a 1-13 card.
“It was a tough decision the fact na you are leaving UST, you are leaving the UAAP but that’s one sacrifice I had to make para maging ganito ang performance ko,” Subido said.
With UST coaching changes, Subido decided return last year under Aldin Ayo. The Tigers failed to advance to the semis last season.
Season 82 came with its own challenges too including one in the last moments of the game against UP.
Down, 63-65, Subido nailed a clutch 27-footer – a shot he had envisioned the night before – to break the backs of the Maroons.
“Usually, ang ginagawa ko the night before every game I really visualize, sini-simulate ko na sa utak ko ang mga possible na mangyayari. It’s really about mental preparation,” he said.
“It’s not just mental preparation,” Subido added. “I always practice it on the court also. Sina Coach Mcjour (Luib), si Coach Aldin. They always tell me na every time I do extra practice I have to simulate, I have to visualize na ito ang mga scenarios.”
With UP already conquered, Subido and the Tigers now have to face an uphill battle against an undefeated foe.
“Ateneo is really a tough team,” he said. “Kung ano ang effort and hard work na in-exert namin in preparation for UP we’re gonna really double it against Ateneo.”
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