Former NCAA juniors phenom Keith Agovida turns into a defensive lynchpin for Chiefs
No offensive sets are designed for Keith Agovida, yet he managed to score 14 points against Letran, mostly through hustle plays. Jerome Ascano

KNOWN for his scoring in high school, Keith Agovida has revived his career by turning into a defensive lynchpin and role player for the Arellano Chiefs in college.

The 24-year-old forward, who once scored 82 points in an NCAA juniors game for Jose Rizal University, gets his points mostly through hustle plays nowadays for Arellano in the men’s division.

But once called upon, Agovida showed he can deliver offensively on Monday, scoring eight points in the final frame including the go-ahead basket that lifted the Chiefs to a 63-62 win over the Letran Knights at The Arena in San Juan.

With the Chiefs down by one, Agovida, through sheer hard work, scored on a reverse layup on his third try with one minute and 36 seconds left.

“Parang MVP-like performance,” Chiefs coach Jerry Codiñera said of the athletic forward who is in his second and last year in the NCAA. “We don’t look for him on offense, talagang through his own efforts lang.”

The Chiefs hardly need Agovida to take charge on offense, getting plenty of firepower from guards Jiovani Jalalon, Nard Pinto, and Levi Herandez.

But Codinera is glad to see Agovida deliver a game-high 14 points when he needed him to score.

“He’s like a small version of Arwind Santos," said Codinera, himself a many-time All-Defensive team member during his PBA career. "He just has to be consistent lang with what he’s doing.”

Agovida, however, is content to stay within his role for the Chiefs.

“Yung depensa at rebounds pa rin ang focus ko.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos