The current batch of NCAA big men has been dominated by foreign student-athletes. Out of the ten schools participating, seven have foreign student-athletes anchoring the defense for their respective teams.
Enter Filipino-Australian and San Bebastian College-Recoletos big man Bradwyn Guinto. Last season, Guinto averaged 14.17 points, 11.11 rebounds, and a block in 30.83 minutes of play in 18 games. The Fil-Australian was even ranked fifth in the Most Valuable Player race with a total of 730 statistical points. However, the Stags only compiled a record of 5-13, good for eighth place.
In their season opener against the Mapua Cardinals, Guinto scored 13 points [5/9 FG, 3/4 FT], grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out three assists in 36:20 minutes of play. The Stags lost the game 88-86.
Guinto more than made-up for it in their game against the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers last Tuesday as the Stags rallied late in gaining a 91-89 win. Guinto stuffed the stat sheet in scoring 17 points, grabbing 20 huge rebounds, dished out four assists, stole the ball twice, and blocked two shots by the opposing big man.
After the game, a clearly exhausted Guinto told Tiebreaker Times that it was hard to contain JRU’s Abdulrazak Abdulwahab and Abdoul Poutuouchi. “It’s tough! Poutuouchi’s huge!,” the 6’6” center quipped. “His size is double sa akin. I just try to work hard and whatever happens happens.” The two foreign student-athletes combined for just 12 points and 20 rebounds in the game.
Late in their game against the Heavy Bombers, the team rallied to steal the win. The rebounding category, dominated by JRU in the first three quarters, was turned in favor of the Golden Stags. Guinto deflects all the credit to his teammates who helped him seal the opposing big man.“I think like two times late in the game they sealed out my man kaya nakakuha ako ng rebound. Fortunately, it just happened to fall into my hands.”
In the closing minutes of regulation, Guinto was visibly frustrated late in the game as the defender of spitfire guard Teytey Teodoro sagged off of him that resulted to a jumper that tied the game. According to the big man, he told his teammate to “‘not worry, I got your backs anyway.’ If the defense breaks, I got your back. I’m the last line of defense so I’ll stop him [Teodoro].” The guards of San Sebastian followed the advice. The result? Turnovers and contested shots for Teodoro and, later on, Paolo Pontejos.
The win is just a single win for the Golden Stags and it does not get any easier for him. Next up for them is the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Altas on Friday. Guinto will be facing the league’s number one scorer Bright Akhuetie and Prince Eze. For the Filipino-Australian though, it’s just another day in the office. “I don’t really focus on them, I just focus on how to get better and find where I have the advantage. I focus on like getting rebounds, getting free underneath, and respond to how the defense adjusts. I just treat every game like it’s a war,” he closed.