MANILA, Philippines – Gian Mamuyac burst into the Philippine basketball scene as the scrawny “Steph Curry stopper,” grew under the spotlight as an effective UAAP defender, and is now a multi-time champion and respected captain of the mighty Ateneo Blue Eagles.
However, despite carving a solid reputation as an elite defensive anchor, Mamuyac continues to be hungry for improvement on all possible fronts of his game, and head coach Tab Baldwin is nothing but pleased with his veteran ward’s drive.
“Evolution is a good word to use in reference to Mamu in many respects. Players develop reputations, especially effective players, and Mamu has always been effective as a defensive player,” he said after Ateneo rode a huge third-quarter surge to sweep rival La Salle in the Season 84 elimination round, 75-68.
“But he’s a professional young man. He doesn’t just rest on the fact that he’s a defensive player. His ball handling, his passing has improved, and obviously, the shooting has improved because he’s worked at it.”
Seemingly out of nowhere, Mamuyac rose to the top of the shooting leaderboards after the first round with a league-leading 44% clip from three-point land, besting dedicated FEU sniper Xyrus Torres, and four other Eagles who rounded out the top six.
The senior guard even led Ateneo’s repeat win over La Salle with 15 points, and is now averaging 9.8 points, always off the bench, with 4.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 assists in just around 17 minutes of action per day.
“He’s just another good example in our program of a guy that strives to be a complete basketball player, and I’m sure he’s proud of his reputation as a defensive player, but now this is another arrow to the quiver,” Baldwin continued. “It’s just a product of the work that he’s done.”
Ever the team player, Mamuyac refused to take any credit for himself when asked for comment on his noticeable offensive development so far.
“I think it just shows how great this program is, and how great this program develops its players,” he said. “I just also want to give credit to the coaching staff. Not only do they give me unlimited confidence, but also they stay in the gym with us to work with us.”
“As much as I want to get all the credit, I really can’t, because the coaching staff did their part. I wouldn’t be shooting this well, nor be the kind of player I am if not for them.” – Rappler.com