Not wanting to be embarrassed by the San Sebastian Golden Stags on their own home floor last Thursday, Prince Eze made sure to not let down the Perpetual Help Altas and their fans.
“At halftime, I got mad actually,” admitted first-year Perpetual head coach Frankie Lim, as the Altas fell behind by as much as 21 points against their visitors. “I told them, guys, it’s not about the Xs and Os. It’s about your desire to win.”
Eze and the Altas responded with a huge third quarter-outing to give themselves a chance to stun the Golden Stags.
In the final frame, Perpetual and San Sebastian figured in a nip-and-tuck affair that saw the tilt go down to the final possession.
With 3.3 ticks left, the two proud squads were knotted at 76-all. Burning his last timeout, Lim crafted a play for his main man Prince Eze, who had anchored his defense all game long.
After the timeout, the 6-foot-10 tower received a well-timed lob from AJ Coronel, perfectly angling his hands in the air to lay-in the game-winner with 0.5 seconds to spare. Disaster averted.
“I don’t want to lose whatever it takes,” the 21-year-old Nigerian student-athlete said. “I know if I tap the ball, I’m still gonna catch it back. So I went inside.”
For his heroics, Eze – who finished the game with 22 points, 18 rebounds, and six blocks – was crowned as the Chooks-to-Go/NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week.
Though Eze says that luck has been on their side so far, leading them to solo fourth in the standings, their current mindset is something that they must sustain the rest of the way.
“I mean, a win is a win. And we have to live with that,” last season’s Defensive Player of the Year shared.
Eze bested CJ Perez of Lyceum, Robert Bolick of San Beda, Bong Quinto of Letran, and Alvin Capobres of San Sebastian for the weekly honor handed out by print and online writers covering the Grand Old League.
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