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Escamis glad to be back home with Mapua, at Filoil


Clint Escamis was a picture of delight after returning home to Mapua University and playing in the FilOil EcoOil Centre once more.

Such happiness was evident despite a narrow defeat at the hands of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, which the talented guard could have won himself.
With 10.5 seconds remaining in the game, Escamis dribbled and pulled up to take the game-winner. The ball hit the rim, but it bounces out for a miss.

Nonetheless, the two-time NCAA juniors champion was just glad to be back on the court wearing the Red and Gold of the Cardinals once again — in the very same arena where he won the Most Valuable Player award after helping the side win the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup in 2018.

“Sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam, lalo na sa FilOil,” Escamis said. “Sobrang tagal ko ng hindi nakalaro sa FilOil — five years. So, it’s good to be back talaga, lalo na kila coach Randy (Alcantara).

“It feels like home.”

The 21-year-old standout admitted that he was not having a dream debut, especially in terms of offense, but coach Alcantara knows that sooner or later, the shots will fall for him.

He said, “Buong game sobrang alat ko, actually. Sabi ni coach Randy, ‘Ok lang yan,’ every time ilalabas niya ko sa court. ‘Ok lang yan, papasok din yan.’ So, andun pa rin yung kumpyansa na binigay sa kin coach. Kahit sobrang alat ko, yung kumpyansa niyang binibigay sa kin, andon pa rin.”

What motivated Escamis to do it all for Mapua in his comeback game is the very same accommodating feeling from his family, first and foremost due to coach Randy.

“Sobrang father figure talaga. Yun nga umalis na ko, tapos bumalik ako; tinanggap pa rin ako. Sobrang thankful talaga ko sa kanila.”

Fast forward to the last two minutes of the Cardinals’ game against the Blazers, Escamis took over late in the game scoring all of his five points in that stretch including a drive to the basket that put them ahead by one, 76-75, with 49 seconds left in the contest.

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He could have extended the lead to five 14 seconds later but instead missed on a triple attempt, which Robi Nayve took advantage of in the next possession for CSB, sending the lead back to the Blazers with 10 seconds left at 77-76.

And then it went down to that game-winner attempt where he missed.

Escamis shared, “Oo, sa kin [designed] ‘yung play. Unang-una, may options naman. pero pinasa ko na din kay Joaquin (Garcia).

“Okay lang. Sabi ni coach Randy, “OK lang hindi pumasok sa FilOil, basta pumasok yun sa NC[AA].”

Escamis is nothing but ready to lift the Cardinals and take flight with family in the preseason now and in the NCAA next year.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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