NO matter what happens, Maodo Malick Diouf will always give it his all for Centro Escolar University.
That was the case anew on Thursday when he played all 40 minutes as the shorthanded Scorpions pulled off a courageous 84-74 Game Two victory over Go for Gold-CSB to reach the 2019 PBA D-League semifinals.
The Senegalese big man scored 25 points and grabbed 29 rebounds in a no-relief effort for a team that was down to seven players - no small feat considering he also fasts during Ramadan.
Diouf said he was fighting for the six other CEU players who were left after seven others, mostly a part of coach Derrick Pumaren's main rotation, were kicked out of the team due to allegations of game-fixing.
"I play for my teammates who are left. I play for them because I know they like me," said the genial 6-foot-11 slotman who was left in tears when the final buzzer sounded.
"I cried because today, I know we will play with only seven players. But we gave it our all."
The 20-year old big man was totally spent after he led a 10-2 windup that turned a tight 68-64 lead in the last 6:16 to a 78-66 spread in the final 2:34.
"I'm tired. I gave my 100 percent. I can do nothing in the last quarter but we need to win. We did a good job in the first half and I told my teammates that we can beat this team. Lets stay focused on defense and we will win this game."
With how things are shaping up for the Scorpions, the imposing slotman will have to do more if the team wants to overcome St. Clare College Virtual Reality in the best-of-three semifinals.
Asked if he has a lot more of these 40-minute games in him, Diouf only answered in the affirmative.
"I'll play 40 minutes everytime," he promised.