Clutch Chauca gunning for MVP, UAAP title to cap off lone season
MANILA, Philippines – The one-and-done trend has clearly worked wonders for the Adamson Soaring Falcons in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.
With the Falcons seemingly headed for their second straight loss at the hands of the UST Growling Tigers, Val Chauca took his clutch gene to another level and spearheaded a stunning 16-0 run to steal away the win, 78-71.
The Fil-Peruvian guard finished with 18 points – 11 coming in the 4th quarter – and 8 assists.
Not surprisingly, Chauca credits his comeback effort to an all-in winning mentality.
“The goal is pretty simple – go to the finals, win the finals. Personally, I wanna win the MVP,” he declared in the post-game presser. “I wanna be very efficient, keep my turnovers down. Shoot it efficiently. I just wanna keep winning.”
He certainly has a case for himself, as he is currently the league’s seventh-best scorer with an average of 16 points per game.
“This game wasn’t really about the Xs and Os,” he continued. “We knew the game plan we knew exactly what they were gonna do. But at the end of the day, this was about all heart. This came down to what’s inside like your heart. I’m just glad we came out with the win and I’m glad we did it as a team.”
Adamson actually established an eight-point lead in the 2nd quarter thanks to the hot shooting of the resurgent Jerrick Ahanmisi. However, the Tigers roared back in the second half and peaked with a 13-point gap, 61-48, to start the 4th.
Chauca then took over from there and made it rain from downtown to kickstart the Falcons’ stunning run. When the dust had settled, the former Enderun standout owed it all to lessons stemming from their earlier heartbreaking loss to UP.
“Experiences like this it goes further than basketball. It’s really beyond basketball,” he said. “Coach Franz [Pumaren] often preaches in the locker room how you are going to be off the court as a man. When things go bad, when things go wrong, are you just gonna collapse in defeat or are you gonna get up and keep fighting, keep pushing?”
Clearly, the Falcons responded positively to the challenge, which resulted in their third win in 5 games.
Heading to Adamson’s next match against La Salle on Saturday – their third game in 7 days –Chauca is retaining that same killer mentality.
“I just approach it like any other game,” he said. “Every game for me is a championship game. What I really try to preach to the young guys is this is gonna come and go really fast. In 3 months this is going to be all over and you might never get the chance.”
“So every time you step on the floor, you not only represent the school, God, but you represent your family, your loved ones, everyone that’s helped you along your journey,” he continued. “So yeah, La Salle is just another game. I treat every game as a championship game.” – Rappler.com