OF all the Maroons, veteran guard Mikee Reyes had perhaps the most compelling reason to want a win over Adamson on Saturday.
So he did something about it.
Reyes led from the front on Saturday when the Maroons ended a 27-game losing streak that stretched close to two years with a 77-64 win over Adamson in the UAAP men's basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Actually, Reyes had an even longer losing streak than the rest of the Maroons as he missed the team's last victory on August 19, 2012 against University of the East due to an injured shoulder.
Reyes’ last victory with State U came way earlier - on August 22, 2009 when the Maroons edged out De La Salle, 83-78, in a game held at The Arena in San Juan when he scored 25 points, then a career high.
“This was my first win in the UAAP since 2009. It’s big for me," said Reyes, savoring the victory. "As pathetic as it sounds, masarap.”
Reyes surpassed his career high on Saturday as he scored 28 points against the hapless Falcons, just a point shy of the season’s best of 29 held by Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena.
Reyes could have scored even more had he not suffered cramps in the endgame.
As the final buzzer sounded, a jubilant Reyes led the school’s celebration, standing before the UP side of the gallery and proudly holding up his jersey.
Reyes, who sat out close to two seasons due to injuries, also remembered his last win against the Green Archers as if it was only yesterday.
“La Salle Greenhills ako noong high school eh. That was a different story. Hindi naman ako galit noon, but siyempre I wanted to prove something.
“Mas masarap ‘yun but this was really big because championship game eh,” a smiling Reyes said. “If we lost this game, I don’t know what will happen. I really don’t know what will happen."
Reyes admitted there was a sense of urgency to win the game especially after a pep talk/dinner with the team managers this week and the school scheduling a bonfire celebration if the Maroons win over the Falcons.
“We had to win. There was a sense of urgency na kailangan nang manalo. When we had the big lead, everybody was just saying maintain, maintain,” Reyes said.
When he wavered down the stretch, Reyes was thankful that others stepped up.
“Actually, nagkalat nga ako before ako nag-cramps. It’s good naman na naging composed ang mga coaches. It was a team effort,” said Reyes.