When Isaac Go dropped 28 points during the nine-man Ateneo Blue Eagles’ 74-62 victory over the San Beda Red Lions last January 24, the usually stoic big man sent out a tweet.
Getting my groove back ??
— Isaac Go (@IsaacGo1) January 24, 2019
Coming off a breakout UAAP Season 79 campaign that saw him bag the Chooks-to-Go/Collegiate Basketball Press Corps Pivotal Player of the Year award, many expected the 6-foot-8 stretch big man to have more production in Season 80.
However, it did not happen.
Even the 22-year-old big man would be the first to admit that he had a down year.
“You noticed last season I didn’t play much. Actually, it’s not because I didn’t play much but I felt that I did not deserve the minutes,” Go reflected.
“I didn’t deserve it.
“I understand coach’s decision because Ange was killing it. I felt that last year that wasn’t me,” he added.
That is why when Kouame was out, Go played like a man on a mission.
During their three-game PCCL champions versus champions series, Go ended up averaging 14.0 points and 5.5 boards per game. Then in their winner-take-all finale against the UV Green Lancers, he finished the game with 15 points in just 14 minutes of game time to be named as the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Remaining humble, Go believed that he did not deserve the MVP trophy as fellow Blue Eagles like BJ Andrade and RV Berjay both had eye-popping campaigns as well.
“Of course, I feel happy now that we won but the more important is being a team. We’ve been preaching that the team always comes first,” said the incoming super senior.
“The team did pretty well today at nagkataon lang na ako yung pinaka maraming na-shoot. RV and BJ played really well today kaya I was expecting na they would give the MVP to them,” admitted Go.
“Nagkataon lang na marami akong na-shoot but overall, they had a greater impact in the game.”
For him, he was not gunning to win MVP whatsoever. All Go wanted to prove in this tournament was that he will fight for his spot come the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
“It’s a challenge now to tell coach to play me. It’s really a challenge,” expressed Go. “I wanna show coach that even if we have Ange that I will take a step back which I think happened to me last year.
“Of course, I’ll take a step back if it’s for the team but I can’t just step back without showing that I deserve that spot. I have to show coach that just because Ange is here, I will still play.”