The UST Growling Tigers showed great resolve to bounce back from an embarrassing 38-point loss last week. Rookie coach Boy Sablan pulled some new tricks off his bag as he unveiled a gem of a rookie in their morale-boosting bounce back win against UP on Staurday.
With the way the De La Salle Green Archers manhandled them last Wednesday, the Tigers look like they are on their way to a slide, but first year point guard Oliver de Guzman made sure it won’t happen.
With the game still hanging in the balance, UP threatened to steal the game away and extend UST’s woes when Diego Dario tied the game at 68-all in the 4:16 marker. But De Guzman stepped up and hit a crucial a three-pointer to give UST a slim lead.
The fourth stringer playmaker then added another jumper with 2:22 left during the Tigers’ game-winning 8-0 run.
“Napaka-overwhelming. Sabi nila pamatay sunog,” de Guzman said after the game. “Grinab ko na yung opportunity na yun, minsan lang yun,” said the UST rookie.
Still feeling the pain of the 38-point defeat against La Salle, de Guzman said the team laid it all out against the Fighting Maroons to at least even their win-loss record.
De Guzman finished with 11 points and had a clean slate with no turnover in 11.67 minutes of action.
“Medyo masakit yung pagkatalo namin sa La Salle kaya binuhos namin lahat dito,” de Guzman said.
His breakout game did not escape Sablan’s attention, lauding his rookie point guard’s valiant effort.
“Hinihintay ko lang yung tamang time para sa kanya na paglaruin ko siya ng maganda sa fourth quarter. Talagang ilalagay ko, talagag huhugutin ko,” he said.
“Yung pagiging point guard nya nagagawa niya ang gandang bumasa ng laro alam niya gagawin niya,” Sablan added.
Already four-man deep in their guard rotation with Jamil Sheriff, Renzo Subido and Marvin Lee vying for playing time, de Guzman said he does not mind his limited minutes and will just do the role given to him.
“Yung pinapagawa ni coach na role namin [gagawin ko]. Hindi naman kami naaano kahit madami kaming guards,” de Guzman said. – By John Chester Fajardo
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