MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Green Archers backcourt has long been the domain of steady leaders Andrei Caracut and Aljun Melecio.
However, another man in the deep guard lineup from Taft is starting to make a name for himself in the UAAP Season 82: Encho Serrano.
With La Salle badly needing a win to close out the first round, the sophomore slasher erupted with a career-high 29 points off a 13-of-22 shooting from the bench in La Salle’s 92-77 blowout against the UST Growling Tigers.
As it turns out, apart from needing to lift his team to a crucial victory, Serrano was playing to keep his place on the court as well.
“Wala akong pinagdadaanan pero kasi yung mga past games namin na hindi ako masyado nagagamit, hindi lumalabas laro ko, siguro masyadong makulit ako sa team namin, iyan ang pagkakakilala sa akin,” said Serrano.
“Kinausap ko sarili ko na kailangan ko pa mag-focus kasi kailangan kong lahat ng detalye na gusto ipagawa sa akin nina coach, kailangan alam ko lahat.”
(I’m not going through anything but I was just not being used much in the past games. My game wasn’t showing and maybe I was being too rowdy to the team. That’s how they know me. I was talking to myself that I need to focus because I need to know the details the coaches are telling me.)
“Tinatanong ko sarili ko kung bakit,” he continued. “Siguro kailangan kong patunayan starting sa training, sa game, nagpapa-thank you ako kay Lord na nakabawi ako.”
(I was asking myself why. Maybe I need to prove myself in training and in the game. I was just thanking the Lord that I got back today.)
Prior to Saturday’s eruption built on bullying layups, Serrano was just averaging 6.3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and apparently, a lot of antics per game.
“Lagi ako tumatawa sa training and siguro pag warm up na kami nakikipagharutan pa ako, so siguro iyon ‘yung kailangan kong baguhin sa sarili ko,” he said.
(I always laugh in training and play around in warm-ups so I think that’s what I need to change.)
With La Salle now back in the thick of Final Four contention, Serrano promises to be more mature and be a guard the team can lean on for a quick spark off the bench.
“Same lang ‘yung energy and yung focus,” he said. “Siyempre dito ako nagsimula so kailangan kong [ituloy] kung ano ‘yung nasimulan ko hanggang matapos.”
(I’ll keep the same energy and focus. Of course, this is where I started so I have to continue it until the end.) – Rappler.com