Dela Virgen on the mark as he proves his worth for Heavy Bombers
"Hulog ng langit" was how JRU coach Vergel Meneses describes Mark Dela Virgen following a surprising showing in the Heavy Bombers' win over the Lyceum Pirates. Czeasar Dancel

MARK Dela Virgen impressed everyone with a stellar performance in Jose Rizal University’s win over Lyceum in the NCAA Season 91 men’s basketball tournament on Friday.

And to think he wasn’t even lined up to play against the Pirates.

“Hulog (ng langit) eh,” said JRU coach Vergel Meneses. “Kung wala siya siguro...”

Dela Virgen saw action for 26 minutes, his longest playing time yet for the season, and hopes to be given more exposure in the team’s future games.

“Yung binibigay sa aking time ni coach, ginagrab ko kasi sayang po eh. Tapos binibigay ko po lahat ng makakaya ko para sa kanya at para sa team,” said the 18-year-old rookie.

Dela Virgen finished with nine points, all from beyond the arc, four rebounds, and an assist in the Heavy Bombers’ 75-60 win.

“The good thing is he's willing to learn. He's willing to learn at ang importante sa kanya yung competitiveness niya,” stressed Meneses.  “Hindi siya napapa-back down kahit sinong kalaban niya.”

Meneses, the former PBA great, even made fun of Dela Virgen's shooting ways, saying: “Panget nga lang shumoot pero nashu-shoot eh, hindi ba? Okay lang sa akin yun.”

 “Magaling,” was the only word sophomore guard Bernabe Teodoro could say on his teammate's performance.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @camillesnts