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Tiebreaker Times


‘Best point guard in college’ JP Calvo hopes Letran guards learn from Final Four loss

JP Calvo was not able to end his collegiate career the way he wanted. He wasn’t even on the court when the Letran Knights were experiencing a flurry against the Lyceum Pirates, Friday afternoon.

Early in the third canto, Calvo – who stands at a generous 5-foot-7 – figured in a collision with Mike Nzeusseu, a towering 6-foot-6 big man. Nzeusseu landed on Calvo’s left leg.

The graduating tried to return to the game, but the pain was unbearable.

“Yung aksidente, hindi mo masasabi. Gusto ko pang bumalik pero ‘di ko na kaya. Sinabihan na lang ako ni coach Jeff [Napa] na ‘wag ko na pilitin eh,” disclosed Calvo.

“Kasi kung ako ang tatanungin, maglalaro talaga ako para sa Letran, lalo na para sa mga ito,” he added.

“Last year ko na ito eh. Wala na akong next year pa.”

“Medyo talagang mabigat yung nangyari sa kanya na ‘di niya kaya ibalik sarili niya, pinu-push sarili pero ‘di naman natatapos yung season na ‘to,” shared Napa.

“Ayaw rin naman naming i-abrupt yung career ni JP dahil actually siya yung pinakamagaling na point guard ngayon eh, kahit sa UAAP or whatsover. Ayoko siraan yung career niya ngayon.”

Letran guards Fran Yu and Bonbon Batiller struggled to replicate the production of Calvo in the game, as Letran succumbed to Lyceum, 85-109, to end their campaign.

As this was happening, Calvo could not help but tear up.

NCAA-94-CSJL-vs.-LPU-Calvo-6909 'Best point guard in college' JP Calvo hopes Letran guards learn from Final Four loss Basketball NCAA News UPHSD  - philippine sports news

“Gusto ko lang ibalik yung tradisyon na yung Letran, nagcha-champion. Gusto ko na pag-alis ko sa Letran, nag-champion kami,” admitted Calvo, who had nine points, three assists, and two rebounds in his final game.

“Sana gumanda din ang exit namin. Pero yun, di mo masasabi ang aksidente.”

After the game, Letran’s co-captain gathered his teammates one last time. And he directed his thoughts to the guards. He wants them to remember this moment and carry it into the off-season.

“Siguro sa mga kapalitan ko, si Fran Yu, [Jason] Celis, at Batiller, sinasabihan ko sila na dapat ‘wag mag-relax at kung ano ang dapat nilang i-improve, i-improve nila.

“Yun ang key sa isang player eh. Halos naman lahat dito, kaya nila (mag-champion) lalo na next year babalik si Jerrick [Balanza],” shared the one-time NCAA champion.

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But for now, the Letranites can appreciate what Calvo brought to the Knights.

“Malaki pa career ni JP sa PBA whatsoever,” said Napa.

“Kailangan mo lang i-appreciate yung bata sa ginagawa niya then susuklian ka niya.”

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