Clint Escamis has finally played his first game back for Mapua University in the NCAA Seniors Basketball Tournament after their 80-70 victory over San Sebastian College – Recoletos.
This came after a brief stint in the University Athletics’ Association of the Philippines with the University of the East.
Though it has been a long time since Escamis last suited up for Mapua, the former NCAA Juniors MVP still feels at home in the NCAA environment.
In his one season in the UAAP, Escamis averaged 7.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 2.1 steals for the Red Warriors.
“Nakaka-excite rin talaga kasi first game back. Yung atmosphere, the crowd… Especially in UAAP, hindi ko naramdaman yung crowd kasi bubble season. Yun yung big factor na nagpapatakbo sa akin. Of course, my family watched kanina,” said the 5-foot-11 do-it-all guard.
“Yun yung motivation ko, and siyempre for the Mapua community para doon ko ginagawa lahat eh.”
Escamis’ comfort donning the red-and-gold for Mapua was apparent. He dropped 12 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, lighting up both ends of the court in his debut.
Escamis credits his impact on both ends to his coach Randy Alcantara, who spoke to him about affecting the game outside of scoring.
“Hindi dapat kami ma-frustrate, be a good example sa mga teammates namin especially on defense. Kasi puwede ka malasin sa offense, pero sa defense, walang malas malas kasi yun yung willingness mo eh,” shared Escamis.
For Escamis, the difference between his UAAP stint and his first game back in the NCAA was night and day. And he credits the longest-running collegiate league for being far more physical.
The overwhelming physicality became apparent for Escamis as he was forced back to the bench at the 3:54 mark of the fourth quarter.
While Escamis can celebrate the fact that his return ended in a win for the Cardinals, he knows he and the rest of the team have to focus on the next match-up, which is San Beda on Friday.
“Celebrate now, recover now, bukas back to practice and back to the drawing board facing against San Beda on Friday.”