For the past week, third-year Ateneo de Manila University big man Isaac Go has been part of the biggest moments for the Blue Eagles.
Last Wednesday, during Ateneo’s Finals-clinching win over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, he nailed the triple that sent the match into overtime, and a miraculous, kneeling putback dagger in extra time.
He followed this up on Saturday evening with a vengeful under-the-basket and-one with 10.4 seconds left that served as another dagger. And this time it came at the expense of their arch-rivals De La Salle University Green Archers, to give Ateneo a 1-0 edge in the Finals.
The common denominator in all of those sequences was that the fun-loving 6-foot-7 center hardly showed any emotion after making those baskets. The most he showed was hugging Thirdy Ravena, the Blue Eagle who had made the pass to him against La Salle, before heading to the charity stripe for the ensuing free throw.
His stoic demeanor has drawn praise from pundits and sports fans alike.
The Isaac Go shot. Not quite but ? pic.twitter.com/wg0QmtjMIT
— Charles Tiu (@charlestiu) November 22, 2017
Si Isaac Go parang nahihiya siyang magaling siya lol
— Mikee (@_mikeereyes) November 25, 2017
The reactions — or the lack thereof — are simply a result of his approach to the game, believing that he is only doing his job for the rest of the team.
“It’s exciting yes but the reason that I was not able to celebrate was that first, the game was not finished yet — it was not a buzzer beater,” the 21-year-old explained.
“Second, it was Thirdy who found me open, I have to give credit to Thirdy,” added Go, who finished Game One with five points, two rebounds, and two assists, as he was saddled in foul trouble.
“Third, at the end of the day, it was a two points for Ateneo. I don’t look at it as a two points for me, I look at it as a whole — that Ateneo got the two points.”
Even with this knack for big moments, Go, a former Xavier Golden Stallion, is not pressured to one-up his string of outings. He firmly believes that the moment he was given was the result of the collective effort by the Blue Eagles.
“There’s always pressure but we can’t pressure ourselves because it’s a game. There’s no external pressure that will force us to change the way we play,” Go expressed.
“Internally, we just have to push ourselves.”
And the only time Isaac Go will celebrate is when the Blue Eagles finally return the championship to Loyola Heights.