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Kevin Ferrer’s leadership key to UST’s rampage



Kevin Ferrer has done everything for the University of Santo Tomas community. Ever since he was playing juniors’ basketball for the Tiger Cubs, he has given his all for the Tomasians in giving the school championships and, even, representing the school in international competitions.

During his first years with the seniors’ team, Ferrer took a step back to give way to seniors like Jeric Teng, Jeric Fortuna, and Aljon Mariano. In addition, when everyone expected Ferrer to take the ball last season, he succumbed to an injury that cut short his UAAP Season 77 campaign.

This season, the troika of Ferrer, Ed Daquioag, and Karim Abdul are the co-captains of the Espana cagers. Moreover, with international experience under his belt, the 6’4 forward is leading the Growling Tigers to an impressive 4-1 run.

Ferrer’s leadership and maturity was visible during UST’s huge come-from-behind victory over Ateneo. With the Tigers down by as much as 16 points in the third quarter, Ferrer gathered his troops and asked them, “kinausap ko teammates ko. Sabi ko sa kanila ‘ano ba problema?’ Ginather ko sila and as a leader nakinig naman sila nung fourth quarter,” he disclosed during the post-gamer.

Down 11 with 6:03 remaining, even coach Bong dela Cruz pleaded to his boys to play full court pressure defense. “Nung third quarter, sinabi ko lang sa kanila baba lang natin to ten then we’re okay. So nag repond naman ang mga bata, okay naman lahat. Dumepensa e, yun yung maganda dun, dumepensa ng fourth quarter,” the sophomore coach said.

Then, Kevin Ferrer happened.

A corner triple by Ferrer cut the lead to eight. Then, a minute and 14 seconds after, Ed Daquioag rebounded a Sheik Sheriff miss and found Ferrer for another corner triple to go down by just three. Finally, with the UST faithful on their feet, Sheriff found his captain for a game-tying rainbow to the roar of the Thomasians.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Kevin Ferrer’s leadership key to UST’s rampage    “Kevin Ferrer na yun e. Wala na talaga ko masasabi sa kanya. Siyempre beterano na. Papunta na siya dun sa gusto niyang puntahan,” Dela Cruz said about Ferrer’s masterpiece.

The Growling Tigers scored a huge come-from-behind win 68-58 with the UST skipper leading the way with 27 points and nine rebounds. He was also 6/10 from downtown as well. But beyond the statline, his leadership was the most pivotal variable that led them to the win.

“Pero iba talaga yung leadership niya at ang puso niya. Gusto talaga niya manalo,” a proud Dela Cruz said of his star. “Kelangan namin talaga leadership niya kasi siya yung naghuhuddle sa court. Nakuha niya yung lima na nasa court and nagrespond sa defense. Yun lagi namin sinasabi sa kanya.”

For the Smart Elite ambassador though, even in battling sickness, he knew that he needed to be on the court for his teammates and his school. “Kagabi po di po ako makatulog parang tratrangkasuhin ako. Sobrang sama talaga ng pakiramdaman ko,” Ferrer disclosed. He forced his body to play this game since this is also against his longtime rival Kiefer Ravena. “Basta ginawa ko lang naman yung best and si God talaga. Nagdasal ako na bigyan ako ng lakas.”

Ferrer was humble in victory and did not want credit for his accomplishment. During the interview he told Tiebreaker Times that, “gusto ko lahat kami nagwowork. Pag ako lang siyempre tatamarin din mga teammates ko. Sharing talaga sa kanila on and off the court.”

This unselfishness by their skipper changed the way the current UST squad’s comradery as well according to Dela Cruz. “We are not just a team, we are a family.”