MANILA, Philippines – Much like anyone who ever picked up a basketball in their lives, Renzo Subido spent lazy afternoons daydreaming about coming through the clutch and draining game-winners amid thousands of screaming fans.
Little did he know on Wednesday night that his dreams would soon turn to reality.
With his collegiate career and the season of the UST Growling Tigers on the line against the UP Fighting Maroons, Subido calmly picked up his dribble in the clutch and drained a go-ahead triple that sent the sea of fans into a roaring wave of euphoria.
From there, UP couldn't get the breaks of the game as UST clinched its first UAAP finals berth in 4 years with a sweeping 68-65 win.
“May mga times na nai-imagine ko, na siyempre mag-isa ako naiisip ko rin yang ‘game-winner, Renzo’ and I just can’t help but smile,” he said after the win. “I’m really grateful na binigay sa akin ni Lord yung game-winner na yun.”
(There are times where I was alone and I imagined that ‘Renzo game-winner’ and I just can’t help but smile. I’m really grateful that the Lord gave me that game-winner.)
Despite needing 3 straight knockout wins to get to this point, the graduating guard never doubted his team’s chances of winning it all.
“Of course, I always expect that we’re gonna win, “ Subido said. “We always prepare to win. We just had the breaks of the ball game.”
“It’s not just mental preparation, I always practice it on the court,” he continued. “Coach McJour [Luib,] coach Aldin [Ayo,] they tell me that every time I practice, I have to simulate and do different scenarios.”
As UST now faces the undefeated Ateneo Blue Eagles in the finals on Saturday, November 16, Subido is just thankful that the Tigers program made a quick turnaround from back-to-back bottom-dwelling finishes in Seasons 79 and 80.
“There’s pressure to perform, but I’ve already gone through a lot,” he said. “I’ve experienced the lowest [point] of the team where we always lost.”
“I just told myself that I don’t want to go through that anymore.” – Rappler.com