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Andrei Caracut made sure to silence La Salle doubters

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Tiebreaker Times Andrei Caracut made sure to silence La Salle doubters Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 DLSU Men's Basketball Andrei Caracut

Amidst a two-game losing streak — and with his team on shaky ground with just a two-point edge — De La Salle University Green Archers captain Andrei Caracut took the ball in his hands and unleashed a three that could have either made or broke the Taft school.

While the former San Beda Red Cub fixed his eyes on the ball, the Lasallians at the Ynares Center in Antipolo held their breath and hoped for the best.

Then it went in.

Pandemonium broke out in the Green Archers gallery. Chants of “Go La Salle!” echoed around the venue. Caracut had given his squad a five-point cushion. He sank in another three with less than 30 seconds left in the game, much to the relief and ecstasy of those in green around him.

Tiebreaker Times Andrei Caracut made sure to silence La Salle doubters Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 DLSU Men's Basketball Andrei Caracut

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“Yung fourth (quarter) kasi, tatlong three points hindi ko talaga napasok eh. Sabi ko try ko off a dribble, pumasok naman,” he explained.

The clutch threes then propelled the Green Archers to only their second win of the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament, a 68-61 victory over the Adamson Soaring Falcons. It was an outcome long in the waiting after La Salle’s dismal start to the campaign.

“Sabi ko na lang sa kanila kanina before ng game… Kasi nakikita ko after ng UE game, FEU, may pressure talaga. Sabi ko lang, nandito tayo para i-enjoy ang laro ng basketball kasi, alam mo yun, nandito rin tayo sa La Salle. Dream namin maglaro dito, tapos siyempre yung pride at passion sa paglalaro, kailangang-kailangan sa game,” explained the Season 78 Rookie of the Year.

“Tingin ko sa game kanina, nag-enjoy kami.”

Caracut has had an eventful career in the UAAP — one individual award, one gold medal, one silver medal, two years out of the Final Four, and four different head coaches in his five-year stint with the Green and White. Still, with all those experiences, all he wants is for him and his teammates to remain passionate and excited about the game they love, the game that gives them everything.

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Tiebreaker Times Andrei Caracut made sure to silence La Salle doubters Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 82 DLSU Men's Basketball Andrei Caracut

“Yung Ateneo game, masasabi ko na nag-enjoy kami. Yung UE, yun na-feel namin yung… siguro (sobra sa) kumpyansa and na-disgrasya kami. Hindi naman na-disgrasya, pero malakas talaga UE. Dun feeling ko pumasok yung pressure. Sabi ko sa kanila, dito tayo masaya — sa paglalaro ng basketball. Sabi ko enjoy lang natin,” shared the fifth-year student athlete.

And what is one way for Caracut to enjoy the game? Simply put, it is having deaf ears towards the outrage on social media and beyond whenever the Green Archers lose. Ultimately, all he wants is for his team to put up four walls around them and fight to win the next game.

“Unang-una, wala akong pakealam sa mga sinasabi ng iba.

“Hindi naman namin sila kilala, atsaka kami nagtatrabaho eh. January, kami na yung trabaho eh. Hindi naman sila nagtatrabaho eh, so wala kaming iniisip. Sabi ko ‘forget the outside noise’. Alam kong maraming doubters pero alam mo yun, wala naman kaming pake dun. Yung pake namin, yung sarili namin, yung team namin. Sabi ko, stay together,” he then insisted.

With the win over Adamson in their bag, the Green Archers next face the UP Fighting Maroons, who currently sit in second place in the standings. And it will indeed be tough test that Caracut and his teammates need to navigate to build up some momentum.

“Motivation? UP yan eh. Alam mo naman malakas talaga UP. Enjoy lang kami lalo na ako last year ko na. Enjoy ko lang ito. Matalo, manalo, basta bibigyan namin best namin. Lalaro kaming may pride.”

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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