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Ferrer embraces leadership role in last dance with UST

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It has been a long yet fulfilling journey for UST’s do-it-all forward Kevin Ferrer.

Part of the highly-talented UAAP 2011 rookie class that featured the likes of Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena and National University’s Ray Parks, Ferrer’s versatile play has been a key contributor for the UST Growling Tigers for the past four years.

During his rookie year, he seemingly blended with the likes of seasoned vets Jeric Teng, Jeric Fortuna, Clark Bautista and Chris Camus. Come his second and third year in the league, Ferrer made his mark by transforming into one of the league’s best lockdown defenders. In that stretch, everyone could easily recall on how Ferrer sucked the life out of two-time MVP Parks in their Final Four bouts. Also, despite having a bridesmaid finish against the De La Salle Green Archers in 2013, Ferrer’s torrid outside shooting and defensive tactics against Jeron Teng proved dividends as it extended the championship series to a do-or-die scenario.

With all of those accumulated learnings, he eventually soared to new heights and took his game to the international scene as he was part of Tab Baldwin’s Gilas cadets that won gold in the recently concluded 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Basketball Championship held in Singapore.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ferrer embraces leadership role in last dance with UST

Photo by SINGOC

But now, with a ton of experience to lean on and with him pegged as the team’s leader for his last UAAP Season, Ferrer has only one thing in mind for his Tigers: win at all costs.

“Sobrang thankful and honored ako kasi madami talaga akong natutunan sa mga experiences ko doon [sa SEA Games],” Ferrer told Tiebreaker Times. “Dinadala ko sa training ang mga natutunan ko doon at pinapractice ko lagi. Mga natutunan ko [before] sa RP [Youth Team] tinuturo ko rin sa mga teammates ko and iyon, nakukuha rin naman nila.”

To begin their UAAP Season 78 campaign, Ferrer, who dropped 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, was on full throttle as UST stymied the rebuilding Adamson Falcons with a 70-64 win yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Iniisip ko na last year ko na ito at last season ko na. Lahat gagawin ko na, all out na,” Ferrer remarked. “All out na kaming mga beterano kaya sabi nga ni coach na isa ako sa mga leader. Kailangan ko magset ng good example sa mga teammates ko.”

Knowing that this current UST team isn’t as stacked compared to their previous incarnations, Ferrer stressed that his team must make it a point to show the fighting spirit that UST is always known for. Despite facing a mountain’s worth of pressure to deliver in every game they play, the fifth-year forward also added that the only way to achieve success this season is to double their efforts and work as a team.

“Ang team namin gusto palagi parang kami ang underdog. Hindi namin talaga nilalagay ang pressure sa amin. Basta laro kami,” he added. “Ganoon naman talaga ang UST di ba? Kahit hindi inaasahan sa Final Four, gagawin namin ang lahat para makaabo doon. Hindi lang kami ang team na basta-basta maglalaro lang kasi lalaban kami.”

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