It’s one thing to have luck in your veins. It’s another to have bravery in your heart.
But it’s a whole different story when you possess both, as epitomized by UE’s brand new gunner Rey Suerte.
Living up to his lofty billing as a three-time champion and two-time MVP back in Cebu, Suerte did not shy away from the big stage, proving his worth for the Red Warriors. For his performances, he has been hailed as the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week.
The 23-year-old exploded for a season-high 31 big points on top of seven rebounds and three assists. And no points were bigger than his back-to-back treys in the last 15.4 seconds. Suerte dragged UE out of the winless column for a thrilling 89-88 breakthrough victory against the DLSU Green Archers in the 82nd Season of the UAAP Men’s Basketball tournament.
“One word — Suerte. Swerte lang. It was a risk we took, but big-time players just make big-time plays,” said UE active consultant Lawrence Chongson on the Red Warriors’ prized recruit.
After squandering an early 13-point lead, the ballers from Recto were staring at an 83-85 deficit thanks to Encho Serrano’s and-one for La Salle in the last 29.6 seconds. Suerte then came to the rescue and took matters into his own hands.
The 6-foot-3 swingman delivered, sinking two tightly contested shots beyond the arc. The first was over Andrei Caracut for an 86-85 cushion in the last 15.4 seconds, then the second over Kurt Lojera in the last 3.2 seconds for the Red Warriors’ first victory in four starts.
“Kailangan namin manalo talaga kaya nasa isip ko kanina, positive lang at bawat bitaw ko, mashu-shoot talaga,” said Suerte.
Without a doubt, luck played a factor in the career game of UE’s one-and-done star. But more than that, it was his heart that was in full show.
“I just want to keep on pushing. Gusto kong matulungan yung mga bata sa team namin para in the future, madala nila yung team na ito sa other seasons,” he concluded after taking the league by storm with 22.75 points in four games so far.
Suerte bested UST super rookies Soulemane Chabi Yo and Rhenz Abando; Ateneo’s tower Angelo Kouame; and Bright Akhuetie and Kobe Paras of UP for the weekly citation given by the print and online media covering the collegiate beat.
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