How does Mark Dyke respond to trash-talking and alleged racist remarks? By letting his game do the talking for him.
A returning player for the De La Salle University Green Archers this season, Dyke played with a lot of energy during their second round against the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in Antipolo City on Saturday. And it was because he was motivated by the harsh words spewed by his opponents.
“Nanggaling lang naman yung energy ko sa kalaban eh kasi tina-trash-talk nila ako, kasi yun ang pinaka-ayaw kong nangyayari sa akin, kaya naging aggressive na ako dahil ang pangtra-trash-talk nila.
“First quarter pa lang pinipisikal na ako, kaya ayun, ganun nalang yung naging outcome ng game dahil sa kanila lang. Medyo racist eh, kaya ayun, tiyaka pinipisikal talaga ako eh kaya ganun,” disclosed the 20-year-old utility forward.
The 6-foot-3 forward had already scored six points in the opening frame alone, making a living at the foul stripe. Once he was able to see the ball swish through the net, he was able to find his confidence.
“May shooting naman talaga siya, confidence lang siguro. He’s been under-the-radar for the last three years,” shared La Salle skipper Kib Montalbo.
“Kailangan lang siya palabasin sa shell niya. He’s a shooter.”
Dyke scored 10 more points in the second half, eventually ending up with a career-high 16 points, six rebounds, and a block. Moreover, his Green Archers ended up with an impressive 110-69 victory – the biggest rout of the season.
Ever since his days with Nazareth School of National University, the native of Pampanga has always made sure to have the last laugh against his opponents, who have sometimes gone below-the-belt with their quips.
“Since high school naman nae-experience ko na yun, so alam ko na yung gagawin ko ‘pag ganun.”
This time around though, he is in a much-better place.
Unlike two years ago that saw him play in just seven games for a total of 27.7 minutes, Dyke can say that coach Louie Gonzalez has reignited his passion for basketball.
“Personally mas masaya ako, kasi dati, nawala confidence ko, sabi ko sa sarili ko after nito baka ‘di na ako maglaro ng basketball. Ayun si coach Louie tinawagan ako, binigyan niya ako ng opportunity, tinry ko ulit, buti magandang outcome,” he shared.
“Masasabi kong ganun – na nagbigay ng buhay sa akin na maglaro ulit ng basketball. Lagi niyang sinasabi na kahit anong mangyari ‘wag titigil dahil bata pa ako at marami pang pwedeng matutunan, at kung may chance kunin ko lang.”
And absolutely no one can bring down Dyke from his happy place.
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