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Ace up their sleeve: PLDT unleashes John Vic De Guzman



Throughout the season, PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters coach Odjie Mamon’s constant problem was getting his players enough playing time. It was a strange predicament for the coach, for his team is composed of numerous superstars from the UAAP and NCAA.

College of Saint Benilde star, John Vic De Guzman, is one of those players. Rarely used at the start of the tournament, he has seen an increase in playing time in the past few games.

His bump in minutes came in PLDT’s victory over IEM. John Vic hit double digits in scoring for the first time in the tournament, and the win assured PLDT of a spot in the Final Four.

But his importance to the team came up in PLDT’s last two games.

With PLDT battling for their lives in the 5th set of their match against Air Force, John Vic ended the match with a block that gave his team their first win in the Final Four.

In the team’s last game, this time against Cignal, John Vic was pivotal in the victory, entering the match in the second set and scoring 12 big points for his team. The match ended the same was as their previous match, this time with John Vic scoring a block on Ruben Inaudito.

After the team’s victory over Air Force, Coach Odjie shared that John Vic and Howard Mojica, or as coach likes to call them, “NC boys”, were the aces that he was keeping up his sleeve, hoping to surprise the other teams with their play. Unfortunately he had to use them earlier than he wanted to so that he could secure the team’s spot in the Finals.

John Vic shared that he didn’t know about the tactic of Coach Odjie, but he kept a positive outlook throughout the tournament, even though he was rarely used at the start.

“Actually walang sinasabi si Coach about it. Kami [ni Howard], think positive lang na ‘yung time na ipasok kami, magperform kami,” said John Vic. “[Iniisip ko] Pag binigyan ka ng opportunity, just grab it.”

With the team assured of a spot in the Finals against the Cagayan Rising Suns, can we expect John Vic to go all out and hold nothing back?

“Of course, we’re looking forward to that. Kasi yun ‘yung inaasam namin, ‘yung hinihintay namin. Ibang usapan kapag championship.”