RATHER than dwell on the missed opportunity, Mclaude Guadana is making the most of the situation after Lyceum-Cavite was relegated to Division 2 of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals.
The 5-foot-11 Guadana led the Junior Pirates to the Fearless Four with an 80-69 victory over Perpetual-Jonelta on Wednesday and a convincing 93-61 rout of St. Mary's College of Tagum on Thursday.
"Mas gusto namin na mapunta nga sa Division 1," he said. "Ngayon na nasa Division 2 kami, we'll do our best na lang din dun para maging maganda yung maipakita namin dito sa National Finals."
Guadana took the blame for what was a botched opportunity for Lyceum-Cavite to upset fifth seed Ateneo in the Super 32 on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old guard had a momentary lapse of judgment in the clutch as time trickled down and the Junior Pirates absorbed a 86-84 defeat in the first round.
"Bale yung last play kasi, nung ball possession tinignan ko 24 seconds pa. Pagkuha ko, akala ko may natitirang oras pa. That's my bad," he said.
But he also came up with the big shots, leading Lyceum-Cavite's rally from 14-points down against Ateneo and tying the game at 84 with a right corner three with 58.2 seconds left.
He finished with a near-triple-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists in the game.
If there's a story the past two games say about the Junior Pirates, it's that he and the rest of his squad are proving that they are for real.
"Syempre sobrang laki noon, lalo na preparing sa darating na NCAA. Yun din yung dream namin na maging competitive sa mga champion teams, and gawin lang namin yun na consistent," said Guadana, who feels that it's only a matter of time before Lyceum-Cavite can mix it up with the best the country has to offer, starting in the NCAA where it finished fifth this past Season 95.
"Feeling ko sobrang tagal noong process namin, as in simula nung Grade 7 pa ko hanggang ngayon. Sa tingin ko ngayong darating na NCAA season, may mapapatunayan na kami," he said.