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Allen Liwag ready to step up and fill Will Gozum’s shoes for Benilde

Along with Justine Sanchez, Tony Ynot, and Gab Cometa, fellow NCAA transferee Allen Liwag holds a significant role for De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in NCAA Season 100.

In their tight 71-69 victory against defending NCAA champion San Beda University at the Filoil EcoOil 17th ECJ Preseason Cup, Liwag posted a near-double-double with 14 points and nine assists.

The young big man, who joined the Blazers last year after a two-year stint at Emilio Aguinaldo College, is under significant pressure to carry the mantle of the recently graduated Will Gozum.

“Sa akin, medyo may pressure lang kasi laging sinasabi na ako ‘yung papalit kay Will [Gozum]. Nagfo-focus lang ako sa game ko kasi alam ko din naman sa sarili ko na may pagkakaiba naman sa laro namin,” said the 21-year-old Cavite native.

However, he hopes his experience playing for the Generals will be useful in their bid to return to the NCAA Finals next season, but asserts that anyone can step up as their next leader.

“Dadalhin ko din sa Benilde ‘yung naging dalawang taon na experience ko sa EAC sa NCAA. Sa team namin, kahit sino talaga pwede maging leader,” shared the 6-foot-6 big man, who was part of the Strong Group team that competed in Dubai early this year.

Additionally, more than taking up a new leadership role, Liwag will ensure he fills the gap in rebounding, a department he identified as crucial for the Blazers.

“Hindi ko naman totally talaga iniisip kung ano ‘yung magiging stats ko. Iniisip ko lang talaga kung paano ako makakatulong sa team lalo doon sa rebounds, kung saan nagkukulang kami, so doon ako nag-focus.”

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Written By

Luis Licas is a sportswriter from the Philippines. He is currently taking up AB Communication at the Ateneo de Manila University. He writes for Ateneo’s official school publication The GUIDON, where he covers basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, and other collegiate sports. He also competed in the UAAP for the school's track and field team.

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