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Nieles shines for injury-riddled Cardinals, thanks Stevens for help

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Mapua Cardinals Guard, John Nieles,  is not the premier backcourt option for the Intramuos cagers, but when the time came, and he was needed in a crucial affair, he did not shy away from the spotlight.

Mapua was playing without CJ Isit and Andretti Stevens against the Letran Knights, and Nieles found a fitting time to steal the show.

The guard poured 16 points including 7-for-8 from the foul line in 29 minutes of play, helping the Cardinals score an 82-77 upset of the Knights.

Nieles says with the team looking at every game as an important battle, he needed to help his team.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Nieles shines for injury-riddled Cardinals, thanks Stevens for help    “Namotivate ako dahil wala si CJ at Dretti, yung mga veteran guards namin, and may goal kami so I need to step up and give energy to the team,” Nieles said.

“Hindi ko ine-expect to pero the coaches are there to motivate me. Past few games hindi maganda pinapakita ko but nabigyan lang ako ng break.”

Deputy Head Coach Ed Cordero, who was calling the shots for Mapua in lieu of suspended Atoy Co, credits the effort of his young guns as they went on a 5-game winning run, improving to 9-5 overall.

“If we work hard, play as a team, and be unselfish, there are bigger things for us and every game we are improving,” Cordero said, telling his boys to keep pushing.

“If we are truly winners, the more we work hard for every win. So that is the challenge now for the boys. All the more you have to work hard.”

“This team is really composed of rookies and sophomores. Sad to say the veterans are quite injured.”

Nieles later shared how Stevens, his dormmate, helped him by imparting important lessons while together, like a virtual passing of the torch.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Nieles shines for injury-riddled Cardinals, thanks Stevens for help    “Lahat ng experiences ko in the past few games sinasabi ko sa kanya and nakikita niya rin, so sinasabi niya ano ang mga mali, mga dapat gawin at i-improve ko,” Nieles shared on how the PBA draftee is able to help him improve his game.

“I am very thankful andiyan siya kahit hindi siya nakakalaro, yung knowledge niya, for the past few years nashe-share niya,” he added.

Asked about an advice he received from Stevens which he always keeps in his head, Nieles said:

“Tiyaga lang, kasi dun din siya nagsimula.”

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