Evan Nelle had a bad shooting night during Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Basketball Finals – but that did not mean that he had a bad game.
The graduating senior was a woeful 2-of-12 from the field, missing his first 10 shots and tallying just four points.
However, he still managed to put up a double-double by grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists while also getting five steals.
Nelle was also a plus-20 in his 31 minutes and 29 seconds on the floor.
Most importantly, De La Salle University lived to fight another day, stunning University of the Philippines, 82-60, on Sunday to force a Game 3.
Despite Nelle’s dismal shooting percentage, Green Archers coach Topex Robinson never doubted his point guard.
“Evan is one of our leaders.
“I was telling him when he was missing shots, just stay there, I’m not gonna take you out just because you’re missing shots,” said Robinson after their win in front of 20,863 fans at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“We need a leader, we need you. And he just stayed there,” he recalled telling Nelle.
When Harold Alarcon and the Fighting Maroons threatened to come back in the fourth with a string of baskets, the former San Beda Red Lion finally made the baskets that restored order for La Salle.
With those timely hits, Robinson praised Nelle for being the team’s stabilizer.
“I guess what Evan brings to us is stability. We were able to get the ball in the right players because of what Evan has been doing,” said the former Lyceum and Phoenix mentor.
“There will be times that he’ll be missing shots, he’s kind of frustrated early on and I just told him to hold on, your shots will come to you, you have to stay there.”
Nelle will play his final game at the collegiate level on Wednesday and obviously, he wants to leave the UAAP as a winner.
Game Three will be on Wednesday, 6:00 PM, still at the Big Dome.