Much is expected from San Beda’s junior forward Jayvee Mocon in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tourney, with the Red Lions eager to find an able replacement to the big roles left by their prized frontline duo of Art dela Cruz and Nigerian import Ola Adeogun, who have both graduated.
But the 6-foot-4 Mocon, 21, is not clearly eager on making a possible breakout performance for himself, saying he’s dead-set on helping San Beda reclaim the throne which it yielded to archrival Letran last year.
“Gusto kong ipakita ‘yung talents and skills ko this coming season pero ang pinaka-goal ko talaga is to bring back the crown to Mendiola,” he told FOX Sports in a recent interview following San Beda’s 80-88 loss to pro league team Meralco in their tuneup match.
“Wala akong bang iniisip. Walang individual (goal) or anything. Basta bring back the crown to Mendiola lang talaga.”
Without the do-it-all Dela Cruz and the 6-foot-8 Adeogun, the Red Lions are expected to have a tough time dealing with their NCAA rivals armed with dominant big men but Mocon is convinced they have what it takes to hold their ground, with the help of their top recruits.
“Sobrang laking shoes na kailangan naming i-fill this year. Pero sobrang motivated kami and the incoming rookies, sobrang taas ng potential nila. They really want to prove their worth this coming NCAA,” said the former San Beda Red Cub.
Although he admitted feeling a bit pressured to be one of the leaders this time, Mocon said he’s eager to step up to the challenge.
“Andu’n rin ‘yung pressure sa akin. Kasi nu’ng andyan sila Art, pinapanood namin sila. Marami kaming natutunan. Gusto namin silang matalo, gusto namin gumling lalo. Ngayon na kami na ang nasa spotlight, excited lalo akong lumaro,” he said.
Having a “supportive” mentor in the mold of San Beda’s second-year tactician Jamike Jarin eases off the pressure, according to Mocon, who was born in Pampanga but was raised in Antipolo City.
“Si coach Jamike sobrang supportive saming lahat. Ako minomotivate niyan everyday to be better, as an individual and as a team player,” he pointed out, adding their overseas training in Las Vegas, Nevada helped polished his skills set. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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