After a year in residency limbo, former Adamson student-athletes Axel Iñigo and Kimlee Bayquin have finally been given the chance to shine for the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
Sunday afternoon, both Iñigo and Bayquin played their best games wearing the Green and Yellow of FEU in the Tamaraws’ tilt against the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, their former team.
The 22-year-old Inigo, who played under Kenneth Duremdes back in the 77th season of the UAAP, dropped his career-high against his former team, scoring 13 points in just 22 minutes of game time.
21-year-old Bayquin, who had been on the Team B of the San Marcelino squad, added nine points and was one of the defenders tasked to defend Adamson’s leading scorer Jerrick Ahanmisi.
“Si Axel and si Kimlee [Bayquin] came from Adamson. That’s why I would like to thank Adamson,” FEU head coach Nash Racela quipped after FEU notched a 75-65 win over Adamson.
The backcourtmates shared that the game was nothing personal and they treated it as a normal game.
“Hindi naman ako [extra motivated]. Nag-enjoy lang ako sa game. Sinasabi ko lagi, ‘no pressure at maglaro lang ako.,'” the former Adamson floor general declared. “Respeto din sa Adamson, former school ko din yun. Siyempre gusto ko din magpakita ng laro.”
“Wala naman (extra motivation). Team player lang. Walang anything yun sa former team ko,” Bayquin, who hails from Bacolod City, said.
For Iñigo, he just wanted to fill in for usual starter Jojo Trinidad, who had fallen sick a day before the game.
“Nag-deliver lang ako kasi nagkasakit yung starting point guard namin, si Jojo [Trinidad],” Iñigo said. “Nag-step up lang din ako. Naglaro lang ako.”
Moreover, both transferees just want to give back to head coach Nash Racela, who had provided them the chance to showcase their talents at the UAAP level.
“Nung first game ko no pressure, in-enjoy the game. Laro lang. Wala naman ine-expect sa akin e,” Inigo expressed.
“Nag-deliver lang ako at para kay coach Nash ito dahil binigyan niya ako ng trust na maglaro. Ni-line up din niya ko.”
“Sobrang laki kasi si coach nash kasi yung coach na every small things na makikita sayo, bibigyan ka ng reward,” Bayquin added.
“Kung ginagawa mo sa practice yung habit mo na tama, bibigyan ka ng chance. Ayun nga, ginrab ko lang yung opportunity.”