Aljun Melecio visibly showed how exhausting it was to try to rally back against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles.
With 5:50 left in the De La Salle University Green Archers’ game against the defending champions, last season’s runners-up faced a 14-point deficit.
Melecio, a 5-foot-8 guard, went hard to the basket, trying to draw a foul. Although he managed it, he crashed through the barricade. But he did not try to break the fall, falling due to exhaustion on the sidelines.
“Siguro, nagpahinga lang talaga ako saglit kasi nakakapagod din tumakbo nang pabalik-balik,” the third-year Green Archer recalled.
Though Melecio scored eight of his game-high 21 points in the final frame, it proved to be too little, too late, as the Green Archers could not overcome the Blue Eagles, 55-71.
“For me, yun na yung way na mas madali yung offense namin,” shared Melecio as he and the Green Archers tried to break past the Blue Eagles at every opportunity possible “Kasi ‘pag nag-set kami halfcourt, mas mahihirapan kami sa defense nila so if may chance na mag-fastbreak, go lang nang go. Mas madali yung fastbreak sa set kami.”
Even with this game plan, La Salle ended up with their season-lows in scoring (55), field goal percentage (29 percent), points in the paint (28), perimeter points (11), assists (3), blocks (3), and points off turnovers (2). All this while tallying a season-high 28 turnovers.
But even with this, the native of Bukidnon said that it will not deter him from going all-out in every game.
“Siyempre. Lumaki ako sa probinsya kaya lahat ng sacrifices ko, gusto ko mag-pay off,” he asserted.
“Eto na e, binigyan na ako ng chance nang ganito kaya ayokong ganun-ganun lang matalo. I gave my best talaga.”