10, January 2015,
Blue Eagle gym,
Ateneo de Manila campus,
Erik Marcelo, 17 years old, 4th year high school, and a senior member of his team.
He scored two crucial free throws at endgame last January 10, Saturday, during a game of the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Cubs in the 77th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) junior basketball tournament.
That was one of the few games which I saw Tiger Cubs team that was fighting hard to earn wins, and trying to make it far in the elimination round.
(Eric Marcelo leaps as he makes a pass).
“Matagal ko na po inantay ito. Na mabigyan ng chance na mapanalo ang team,” said Marcelo after the game as the team retreated to their assigned locker room inside the Blue Eagle gym in Katipunan Ave., Quezon City.
Marcelo drilled in the winning charity in the last 13 seconds and this helped the Tiger Cubs upset the defending champion National University Bullpups, 51-49.
“Kaso, hindi ko na shoot iyung isa. Pero sabi ko, sayang ang chance,” added Marcelo, who still has two playing years for with the Tiger Cubs.
(members of the UST Tigers singing the school anthem. From left to right are: Miguel Jison, Erik Marcelo, Adolph Salinas, Vince Ferrer and Roald Mayor).
Their efforts allowed the Tigers Cubs to pick up their fourth win in nine games, score their first win over the Bullpups in five years, and stay in contention for a Final Four semifinals seat.
After that game, that Tiger Cubs went on to post their fourth straight triumph at the expense of the University of the Philippines Integrated School Junior Maroons, 61-55.
He went on to score 15 points for the Tiger Cubs when they took a 55-62 loss to La Salle-Zobel on Jan. 13.
(Members of the UST Tiger Cubs whooping it up after a game).
The Tiger Cubs drew 16 points from Marcelo, when they absorbed their second consecutive setback to the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, 66-84, last Jan. 21.
And on Saturday, Jan. 24, Marcelo had a low of two points when the Tiger Cubs absorbed their third straight loss, this time to the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws, 48-57.
(Teammates Francis Luna (6) and Roald Mayor(9) boxes in NU Bullpup Philip Manalang).
Marcelo averages 6.4 points and he has been working hard the past few games.
When he graduates after this season, he knows he will be in Team B, and plans to take up architecture in college.
And if his first season with Team B is OK, he will pursue his dream to be with the UST Tigers in the UAAP season 79.
(NU’s Mark Dyke faces his man during a one-on-one play).
“If I pass first year, tuloy ko basketball,” added Marcelo.
For now, Marcelo’s concern, just like the rest of his teammates is for the Tiger Cubs to reach the Final Four.
With two playdates left in the second round, UST will have to step up.
They have a 5-6 win-loss record in fifth position.
If they win their last two games against La Salle Zobel (Jan. 28), and Adamson on Jan. 31, they will have a chance of reaching the Final Four.