Gian Mamuyac vows to continue channeling his inner Gabe Norwood

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 01, 2020 02:39 PM
Mamuyac vows to continue channeling his inner Norwood
(Photos by Arvin Lim)

Gian Mamuyac is a determined defender.

That's why he had a highlight at the expense of three-time champion and two-time MVP Stephen Curry:

As well as back-to-back MVP and one-time champion Ben Mbala:

Coupling his long limbs with quick feet and sprinkling in a whole of energy and effort, the Ateneo de Manila University swingman looks like he has a lot of Gabe Norwood in him.

As it turns out, that was all by design. "I've always been a fan of underrated guys. When I watched Gabe play, nakita ko talaga agad na he's my type of player," Mamuyac himself told Norwood himself in an online learning session a week ago.

He then continued, "He's not the scorer, he's not the best ball-handler, but he does it all for his team. Kaya I tried to make my game na katulad talaga ng game ni Gabe."

Mamuyac, alongside Far Eastern University's Ken Tuffin, San Beda University's Calvin Oftana, and the University of the Philippines' James Spencer got to converse with the Gilas Pilipinas skipper through a Zoom meeting initiated by GOAT Academy.

The fledgling program has organized several online learning sessions that aim to connect pros with collegiate stars and let the former enrich the minds of the latter.

Now, along with defense, the Blue Eagles' Swiss Army knife would have to take after Norwood's leadership as well.

The blue and white would be heading into their title defense in UAAP 83 now without all of Nieto twins Mike and Matt, Isaac Go, Thirdy Ravena, and Adrian Wong.

Even before they left, however, captain Mike already entrusted the reins of leadership to Mamuyac. "Actually, matagal ko na siyang kinausap tungkol dyan. Sabi ko sa kanya na kayang-kaya niya yun kasi parte rin ng 'next man up' namin yun," he said.

Fortunately for him, he just got much-welcome advice from somebody who knows a thing or two about stepping up as captain. "You definitely have to take it upon yourself to be more vocal. For me, being the captain after Jimmy Alapag, probably the greatest leader I've come across in any level of basketball, that was tough," Norwood advised.

He then continued, "You can't try to be like the leaders ahead of you. You learn from them, but you don't wanna be them because that's not necessarily what the team needs. The biggest thing is trying to be yourself."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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