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    Kai Sotto praises Ian Espinosa, Joaquin Jaymalin for providing Ateneo big lift

    Feb 16, 2019
    Ian Espinosa delivers 19 points for Ateneo.
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    KAI Sotto thanked teammates led by Ian Espinosa and Joaquin Jaymalin for taking charge in the early goings of the game as he plotted his way out of his funk in the UAAP Jrs semifinals between Ateneo and FEU.

    "Masaya lang ako kasi yung mga teammates ko talaga, nag-step up," he said.

    The 16-year-old Sotto said he hurt his foot early but went on to fire 19 of his 22 points in the last two periods, while also grabbing eight rebounds, three assists and one block as Ateneo scored a 90-82 win over FEU-Diliman to advance to the UAAP Season 81 Finals.

    "Nung time na wala akong ginagawa, nag-isip akong mabuti kung paano ako makaka-bounce back sa second half."

    With the Baby Tamaraws' challenge out of the way, the defending champions brace for a dangerous top-seed NU Bullpups in the best-of-three championship series starting on Monday.

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    Sotto acknowledges that unlike last season, Ateneo is heading in as the underdogs after NU won both of their elimination duels.

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    "Kailangan naming paghandaan talaga ng mabuti yung NU kasi di sila magiging 13-1 ng patsamba-tsamba lang," he said.

    "Papanoorin namin yung game nila and yung game din namin para malaman namin yung pagkukulang namin and yung kailangan pa naming iimprove pa. Kailangan din naming maging ready kasi alam naming ibibigay talaga ng NU yung lahat."

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    Ian Espinosa delivers 19 points for Ateneo.
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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