DESPERATE for a win in the NCAA Season 95, Jose Rizal University needed its young core to develop faster than usual.
Sophomore wingman Agem Miranda did just that.
The 19-year old came out with the game of his life as he towed the Heavy Bombers to a thrilling 80-77 victory over the winless Arellano Chiefs last Friday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Miranda scored 26 points including his team's final five points as the Heavy Bombers finally scratched their first win in four games.
With JRU trailing by two, 77-75, Miranda scored on a putback with 29.3 seconds left before winning it all with a corner three-pointer in the final 1.7 seconds.
What made it more impressive was that Miranda just came back out on the floor after heading out midway through the fourth quarter with leg cramps.
“Gustong-gusto ko talagang manalo sa game na ito, matagal ko nang ipinagpe-pray to. Gusto ko talaga bumalik sa game, sabi ko, 'Coach, gusto ko bumalik,'” Miranda said.
“Sinabi ko naman po sa kanila na pumunta lang sa sistema, nung napunta sa akin yung bola, wala na akong ibang ginawa nun kundi sinabi ko, ‘Lord sana shoot na to para mabigyan kong panalo ang team namin,’” he added.
One of only five holdovers from last season, Miranda knew he’s gonna have to give more if JRU is to score a breakthrough.
After scoring just two points in their opener and missing the next two games, Miranda started to assert himself more on offense.
Miranda hit 10 of his 17 shots, including three of five from rainbow country, but most importantly, it’s his leadership on the floor which mattered the most.
“Sabi ko, ‘Coach babawi po ako ngayong game, bad game ako nung first game ko. Sabi ko, 'Sorry kasi bad game ako sobra.’ Ayun nag-commit lang ako sa sistema niya,” Miranda said.
“Lima na lang po kaming natira from last year. I need to step up. Sinabihan ko na rin sila Ry dela Rosa na tayo na mag-lead ng team. Kailangan natin manalo, sa atin mangagaling yung takbo ng team. “