In three years with the De La Salle University Green Archers, Aljun Melecio has been a very good free throw shooter. But on Sunday evening, he could not just find the hole.
Melecio – who was seventh in the league in free throw shooting at 74.4 percent, prior to La Salle’s second round encounter against Ateneo – went just 3-of-9 from the charity stripe in the Green Archers’ 62-71 loss to the Blue Eagles.
“‘Di ko alam. ‘Di ko makontrol yung bola sa free throw,” rued the 19-year-old gunner.
“Mas titira na lang ako ng three points, ‘wag lang yung free throw.”
The biggest free throws he missed came in the third canto of the game. With La Salle up by three, Melecio was fouled by Anton Asistio from beyond the three-point arc. However, the pint-sized guard could only knock down one of his three freebies. Ateneo ended the quarter with a 7-1 blast to gain the lead for good.
According to him, the pressure of thousands of eyes watching was not the reason why he had a bad outing.
“‘Di naman. ‘Di ko matantsa yung free throw kanina,” admitted Melecio, who finished the game with 13 markers and seven boards.
But this time around, Melecio will not head to the gym immediately to do some extra shooting. Instead, he will focus on resting, as the Green Archers will be facing the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on Wednesday in a crucial tiff that will decide where they are in the Final Four.
“Lagi naman kaming gigil. Kelangan naming manalo every game kasi kelangan namin lahat yun para sa Final Four.”