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MJ Ayaay on botched game-winner: ‘Layup na nga lang, umahon pa’

MJ Ayaay tried to be the savior for the Alaska Aces in their 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup meeting versus the TNT KaTropa on Friday night. 

With the game tied at 89-all with 5.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the rookie out of Lyceum took matters into his own hands, driving past KaTropa import KJ McDaniels as he looked to lay it up and give his side the lead.

His shot looked good — enough that the Aces were ready to celebrate. But the ball rolled out.

McDaniels was then in the right place to collar the miss with about three ticks left. He tried to put up a Hail Mary shot but it hit nothing, and the buzzer sounded. The game headed into another extra five minutes of play.

McDaniels then took over in overtime, and TNT went on to shatter Alaska’s heart with a 99-93 decision.

“Sayang,” lamented Ayaay, who finished with nine points, two rebounds, an assist, and a steal in nearly 25 minutes of play as a starter. “Sayang lang talaga. Nandoon na kami eh.

“Nandoon na ‘yung team namin. Kaunti nalang talaga.”

With that missed opportunity, the 26-year-old guard admitted that it will make him lose sleep.

“‘Di ako makakatulog nito. Mahihirapan akong matulog nito. ‘Yung ‘di nga kami manalo, hirap na nga akong matulog eh,” said Ayaay, referring to their 0-5 start this conference.

“Lay-up ko na nga lang, sushoot ko na nga lang, umahon pa.”

Still, the Aces’ ninth pick in the 2018 Draft said that this will be something he will charge to experience. And he also sees it as a challenge, for how will he be able to pick himself up following this heartbreaker of a game.

“Charge to experience. Nasa sa akin ‘yun paano magiging better with that experience.”

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Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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