“The Canadian Gunslinger”
One of the key factors for the Arellano University Chiefs’ latest three-game winning streak is made possible by no other than their main outside gunner, Zach Nicholls.
Since shooting up bricks after a forgettable 1/11 (9%) outside shooting performance in their 78-61 loss against the JRU Heavy Bombers during the NCAA 91 Season opener, Nicholls has been a man on a mission as he saw his outside touch regain its lethal form.
“After that JRU game, I did extra shooting. Normally, I always do extra shooting but after that game I made sure my form is great,” Nicholls told Tiebreaker Times. “Going into the next game I try to put it behind me and not affect my confidence. It definitely helps like every game going into the next, my confidence is higher.”
Nicholls’ extra shooting drills paid off in their next game as he rediscovered his outside touch in his team’s close 80-78 win against the Lyceum Pirates. In that game, Nicholls shot 41 percent from beyond the arc on 5/12 shooting.
His uptick from three-point territory didn’t stop there as he easily topped his outside sniping in Arellano’s next games. Against the EAC Generals, Nicholls quickly went to work as he nailed 4 out of 9 outside attempts (44.4%).
Furthermore, Nicholls displayed his best shooting performance so far in the season in Arellano’s thrilling overtime win, 100-96, against the Mapua Cardinals last Friday. In this game, Nicholls was very efficient as he shot 5/7 from the three-point land on 71 percent shooting.
Also, his outside shots couldn’t come at a better time in that game when he hit several backbreaking triples in the Chiefs’ staggering fourth quarter rally which forced the game to go the distance. In that rally, Nicholls splashed a long range bomb from near halfcourt which gave Arellano a 73-70 lead midway through the last quarter and also swished a crucial trey from the left wing near the end of regulation which almost won them the game before Mapua sank timely shots to force extra time.
“I’m just playing my role and I know I’m going to get open shots with our guards passing me the ball. It has always been my role in every team I played on.” Nicholls added. “So I always space the floor and be ready to shoot the ball at all times. It’s fun for me in spacing the floor.”
Will Nicholls outside shooting prolong Arellano’s early season surge? Well, we’ll have to wait until as the Chiefs will battle it out against the San Sebastian Golden Stags this coming Friday, 4:00 pm, at the FilOil Flying V Arena.