Aljun Melecio hasn’t been himself, early in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
As a 29.1 percent career three-point shooter in the UAAP, the Season 79 Rookie of the Year is expected to take up the scoring load from the perimeter for the De La Salle University Green Archers.
However, Melecio has only converted four threes from 16 attempts in the Green Archers’ games against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws and the National University Bulldogs. This in turn contributed to La Salle’s dismal 19 percent conversion from beyond the arc in both contests.
“Extra work lang. Extra shooting. Yun lang naman eh.
“If you miss… Parang lagi ko iniisip na kulang pa yung tinitira ko sa practice. Extra shooting (lang). Buti naman pumasok yung shots ko,” admitted the De La Salle Zobel alumnus.
That extra work proved fruitful for the 19-year-old, as he led the Green Archers to a 82-72 victory over the University of the East Red Warriors. The third-year stalwart scored 16 points at the back of 5-for-7 threes in 28.50 minutes of play.
The spitfire guard shared that tips from veteran coach Siot Tanquincen helped him grow as a better shooter. “Rhythm shots and yung balance ng katawan ko bago ko itira, and yung mindset ko din kung paano mapapasok yung shots.”
Melecio and the rest of the Green Archers still have a long way to go in Season 81. First-year mentor Louie Gonzales reiterates time and time again that La Salle are still in a developmental phase after three games. With 11 games left in the elimination round, Melecio knows that he can’t allow his self-belief as a shooter to waver.
“Hindi ako nawalan ng confidence ko kasi alam ko naman ang kung ano meron ako,” said the Bukidnon native.
“If mintis yung shots ko eh ‘di extra work, extra work, lalabas rin naman yung shooting if nag-extra work.”