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UST prized recruit Amagan vows to play better

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There’s a lot of pressure in replacing one of the UAAP’s best players ever.

The University of Santo Tomas Tigers are looking to rebuild after their savior for the past four seasons, Mark Alfafara, exhausted his playing eligibility last season. Many thought that freshman, Jomaru Amagan, was the next great Tiger.

But the former NCAA Junior’s MVP has struggled out of the gate. In UST’s first two matches, both losses, the Caviteño scored a combined seven points.

Amagan is aware that for his team to suceed, he needs to contribute immediately.

“Kailangan ko talaga ibalik ‘yung laro ko dati (sabi nila coach). Hindi na pwedeng matalo pa kami,” a visibly disappointed Amagan told Tiebreaker Times after UST’s loss to the UP Maroons last Sunday.

The former Lyceum University Junior Pirate points to an unfortunate illness during the first week of the tournament that broke him off his rhythm. He says that he even had to be hospitalized for a day.

“Malas lang po talaga siguro ‘yung start ko kasi nagkasakit po ako last week kaka-recover ko lang po,” Amagan recalled.

The intense speed and blocking in college volleyball have been challenging for the rookie. He also admits that there is definitely pressure in occupying the void left by Alfafara. Amagan even wears Alafafara’s number 4 jersey.

UST head coach Odjie Mamon trusts his young spiker will eventually get acclimated to the college game.

“He just needs more time. Alam naman niya ‘yung mga pagkukulang niya. Eventually, makakapag-adjust din siya,” Mamon said.

Amagan and the Tigers will try to get out of their slump against fellow winless team, the UE Red Warriors on Saturday, 8 a.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Babawi ako against UE. Kailangan na namin manalo laban sa kanila,” Amagan closed.

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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