In Friday’s 86-82 victory over the top team, Mapua University, Patrick Montano stepped up to give Lyceum of the Philippines University a timely boost.
The 23-year-old, second-year wing from Lyceum was averaging just 4.55 points and 2.36 rebounds in 14:59 minutes of play before Friday. However, as his squad battled with the Cardinals for control over the top of the standings, Montano increased his offensive workload just enough to give Lyceum the edge.
Montano finished with a team-high 18 points, including four triples, along with four rebounds, one assist, and one steal. His hot shooting helped deliver the Pirates a victory.
“Sobrang blessed siyempre, at kami naman lahat hindi namin alam kung sino puputok sa amin. Laging sinasabi ni Coach (Gilbert Malabanan) sa amin na dapat laging handa kasi hindi natin alam kung sino magkakaroon ng masamang laro o sino ang magpuputok sa bawat laro,” said Montano after the game.
Montano’s breakout game came at a timely moment as Lyceum’s usual go-to players were still recovering from their respective injuries. Enoch Valdez, who sat out their previous game versus Emilio Aguinaldo College, was still dealing with an illness, trying to regain his form. Similarly, John Barba was still recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the EAC match.
Malabanan later praised Montano for answering the call in their place.
“Enoch and Barba they’re not a hundred-percent on naman dito sa game na ito — even Mclaude (Guadana) eh. Yun yung problema ngayon yung health nila so I give credit to Montano for stepping up kasi yung laro niya nawala eh. Matagal ko na hinahanap yung laro niya ngayon ko lang nakita,” shared Malabanan.
Montano, the sweet shooter out of Consolacion, Cebu, shares that he does not actively hunt for his shots but waits for the right moments.
“Sa totoo lang, hindi ko hinahanap ang mga iyon. Inaantay ko lang na ito’y lumabas, at palaging nagpe-prepare ako sa mga ganitong laro.”
Montano and the rest of the Pirates will look to keep their hot streak going on Sunday at 12:20 p.m. as they battle against Colegio de San Juan de Letran.