ANTIPOLO – MJ Ayaay came so close to becoming the man of the hour for Alaska in its game against unbeaten TNT on Friday at the Ynares Center.
With the score tied at 89 and the clock down to its final 6.3 seconds, Ayaay was able to lose TNT import KJ McDaniels on a baseline drive off an inbound and found a clear path to the basket.
Unfortunately, the former Lyceum cager blew the potential game-winning lay-up with the ball rolling out of the basket, letting TNT off the hook.
The KaTropa took advantage as McDaniels scored eight of his 37 points in the extra period to seal a 99-93 victory - the team's seventh in as many games.
For Alaska, it was the Aces’ sixth defeat in seven games that could have been avoided had Ayaay made that lay-up.
Ayaay admitted he will likely be having sleepless nights thinking about what could have been.
“Sayang. Pero good game. Charge to experience siguro ‘yun. Isang malaking challenge sa akin ‘yun kung paano mag-step up sa next game. May pag-asa pa naman,” said Ayaay.
“Sayang lang talaga. Nandoon kami. Nandoon na ‘yung team namin. Konti na lang. ‘Yung layup ko nga, sabi ko nga, hindi ako makakatulog nito eh. Mahihirapan na naman ako nito matulog. ‘Yung hindi nga kami manalo, mahirap-hirap na ako matulog eh. Layup ko na nga lang, isu-shoot ko na lang, umahon pa. Sayang,” said Ayaay.
Ayaay admitted he was bothered by the possibility that McDaniels would come from behind and block his shot.
“Lumay-up na talaga ako, akala ko nasa likod ‘yung import. Mataas siya tumalon. Akala ko nga shoot na ‘yun eh kasi derecho na ako patakbo sa depensa, pero umahon,” said the Alaska rookie.
The miss dampened what was otherwise a solid outing for Ayaay, who scored five of his nine points off the bench in the fourth quarter.
Ayaay vowed to keep working hard in order to make up for that sorry miss.
“Kahit maganda ‘yung tinatakbo ko, hindi pa rin ako magre-relax. Keep working, stay positive, para matulungan ko ‘yung team ko at ‘yung mga teammate ko,” said Ayaay.