In a world where stats dominate the game of basketball, Matthew Rubico has set the bar higher with his recent feat that left everyone in awe.
The 5-foot-11 point guard of Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite achieved what no one else has done in years in the NCAA juniors’ division, producing a triple-double, with a stat line of 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists.
More importantly, he also led the Junior Pirates to a 70-66 victory, handing Mapua University their first loss of the tournament.
Despite the historic achievement, Rubico remained grounded, stating that he was just doing his job, focusing on his defense, loose balls, and rebounds; and ensuring that his teammates got good shots. He was unaware of his triple-double until it was mentioned to him by his coaches.
“Nung una hindi ako aware, pero nung nag-flash sa screen at sinabi ng coaches dun ko lang nalaman,” the 19-year-old senior out of Lipa, Batangas told Tiebreaker Times.
“Wala naman akong pake sa triple-double e. Hindi ko siya hinabol e. Nakafocus lang ako sa depensa, loose balls and rebounds, pati na rin mabigyan yung mga kakampi ko ng magandang tira.”
Although Rubico had a rough shooting game, missing 16 of his 17 field goal attempts, he stepped up when it mattered most, sinking a crucial mid-range jumper with 47 ticks remaining in the fourth quarter, giving his team a 69-66 lead.
Rubico is currently leading the league in points with 22.2 and assists with 7.2 per game, sitting at eighth in the rebounds per game category with 10.4 in five games.
However, Junior Pirates head coach JC Docto knows that Rubico’s value extends beyond the stats board. He believes that Rubico’s leadership, assists, and rebounds will be crucial to their team’s success.
Docto’s message to Rubico is to focus not only on being number one in the stats but also in the standings.
“Sabi lang namin sa kanya, nagna-number one siya sa scoring, talagang dedepensahan na siya. Hindi lang naman score maitutulong niya sa team. Makakatulong siya sa assist niya, lead niya yung mga teammates niya, rebound,” said Docto.
“Tsaka sabi ko sa kanya, sana hindi lang tayo sa stats mo number one, sana sa standings rin.”