TWO weeks has been far too long for Jayvee Marcelino that he truly relished getting back on the court for Lyceum on Friday.
"Sobrang na-miss ko. Nakakapagod," he testified. "Kaya nga takbo ako ng takbo sa loob. Yun lang din naman ang ginagawa ko nung di pa ako na-injure."
Marcelino only had two practices under his belt after recovering from a deep cut on his nose in Lyceum's 83-81 loss to Perpetual last September 21, but nothing could hold him back as he adjusted on the fly in his return to coach Topex Robinson's rotation.
"Halos dalawang araw lang ako nag-training pagkatapos ng nangyari sa akin," he bared. "Naga-adjust pa rin ako unti-unti. Yun pa rin naman ang role ko, yun pa rin ang ginampanan ko sa loob ng court."
Jayvee, the defensive-minded half of the Marcelino twins, wasted no time in making his impact on the floor for the Pirates, contributing seven points, four rebounds, two steals, and one assist in 17 minutes of play.
Unfortunately, his team's fate was much of the same the last time he saw action on the floor, with Lyceum suffering a controversial 80-79 defeat to Letran after a three from his twin Jaycee with 40.6 seconds remaining was downgraded to just two points at the end of regulation.
Marcelino, though, took it as a challenge, with this setback being an eye-opener on how tough of a road Lyceum has to go through to earn a return trip of the Finals.
"Mahirap naman talaga ang pagdadaanan namin sa Final Four, pero nandito naman kaming team na nagtutulungan para makuha ulit namin at makaakyat ulit kami sa Finals," he said. "Positive pa rin syempre. Pag di ka naging positive, lulubog ka na lang at baka di ka na makabawi sa susunod na game."
Jayvee could also have a laugh about it, that despite how depressing the defeat was, he can smile and still rib Robinson.
"Sabi niya siya ang mali pag natatalo kami eh. Hindi na namin sinisisi ang sarili namin, siya na lang daw sisihin namin. Siya daw ang may mali pag natatalo kami," he said before echoing his coach's constant reminders to the team.
"Dahil tinuruan niya kami maging together, pag natatalo kaming ganto, mas tumitibay kami. Next game na lang kami babawi. Learning sa amin yung pagkatalo ngayon."