Reinhard Jumamoy and Johnrey Pasaol are undoubtedly two of the top guards in the ongoing UAAP Season 85 Boys’ Basketball Tournament.
On Sunday, the two finally got to face off. And Jumamoy and Pasaol delivered the goods for Nazareth School of National University and Far Eastern University-Diliman, respectively.
Though it was the all-around Jumamoy who won the heads-up battle — producing 17 points, eight rebounds, and six assists compared to Pasaol’s 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists, it was the younger brother of former UE scorer Alvin who got the last laugh as the Baby Tamaraws ended the 33-game winning streak of the Bullpups, 87-83.
On one end, Pasaol could not hide his delight.
“Masaya kasi ‘yung last game nga namin against Adamson, galing kami sa talo dun,” said Pasaol, a native of Davao.
“Kumbaga, dito ‘yung mindset namin is bumawi sa game against NU. Tiyaka, wala pa silang talo kaya pressure sa amin na matalo sila.”
On the other side, Jumamoy could not help but feel regret.
“Ang sabi lang ng mga coaches namin bawi lang kami — ‘yun ‘yung motivation namin na nanalo kami kanina, idadala namin ‘yun sa bawat laro namin; bawat ensayo namin na talagang may utang sila sa ‘min,” expressed Jumamoy, a native of Cebu.
“Kalimutan na namin ‘yun siyempre. Di namin goal na ‘yung first round may talo kami. Dapat ‘yung big picture na tinitignan namin lagi na kailangan makuha namin ‘yung goal. Alam namin bawat isa, bawat ng mga coaches hanggang ball boy. Alam namin na may goal kami na kukunin ‘yung championship.”
But the two guards could not help but be in awe of each other’s play.
Jumamoy was surprised by the speed of JR. Unlike his brother Alvin, the younger Pasaol is much more cerebral but packs a burst.
“Mahirap siya kasi sobrang bilis. Sabi ko ‘yun nga po nasa sa amin na ‘yun na kailangan talaga namin siya bantayan,” said Jumamoy about Pasaol, who is averaging 17.71 points, 4.14 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.43 steals this season.
Meanwhile, Pasaol was in awe of the IQ of Jumamoy.
“As a player, impressed ako sa kanya kasi, napaka-skilled din ni Reinard, tiyaka, kumbaga veterano na din siya sa UAAP,” said Pasaol about Jumamoy, who is putting up numbers of 18.0 points, 10.43 rebounds, 7.14 assists, and 1.86 steals so far.
Though this is their first meeting in the UAAP, they still have another showdown in the second round.
And this is just the start of a budding rivalry as the two hope to also meet each other in the men’s level.